Djokovic starts Melbourne campaign with a win

Novak Djokovic has overcome a dogged world No.12 Denis Shapovalov to draw Serbia level with Canada in the ATP Cup at Melbourne Park.

The world No.1 and eight-time Australian Open champion – playing in a rare daytime match – was too good in the big moments, prevailing 7-5, 7-5 in just under two hours.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his win.Credit:Getty Images

Djokovic, who hasn’t endured the perfect preparation after (momentarily) pulling out of an exhibition match in Adelaide due to blisters on his hand, went into the clash under some pressure.

Milos Raonic had taken the opening rubber for Canada, meaning Djokovic had to win to send the tie to doubles.

While Djokovic didn’t appear deterred by his blisters, the Serbian did struggle with the sun at times. The world No.1 has played the vast majority of his matches at Rod Laver Arena at night.

“It’s a great opening of the season,” Djokovic said on court after the match.

Big win: Matteo Berrettini.Credit:Getty Images

Meantime, Italian Matteo Berrettini caused the upset of the tournament so far, overpowering world No.3 Dominic Thiem to level Italy’s Group C tie against Austria.

No.100 Dennis Novak handed Austria a 1-0 lead with a win against Fabio Fognini, meaning the Italian No.1 needed victory to get his country back into the tie.

“I’m very happy obviously for myself, but in this competition we’re playing for a team, so it’s really nice,” Berrettini. “I’m really happy with my performance.”

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