Ruthless Rafa and a NowGen battle: ATP Finals Day 1 key takeaways

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The 50th edition of the Nitto ATP Finals wrapped up its first day of play. Here are two key takeaways from Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem’s victories.

Day 1 of the Nitto ATP Finals wrapped up earlier today, concluding a day filled with both ends of the tennis spectrum: back-and-forth battles and a convincing victory. Outside of the actual match highlight (which will be touched on later), Novak Djokovic was officially recognized as the year-end No. 1 player in the world for the sixth time (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2020), tying Pete Sampras for most all-time and passing Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Jimmy Connors in the process.

I’m very happy,” Djokovic said. “This is the crown for all achievements in the year and it’s unreal that I’ve managed to finish the year at No. 1 for a sixth time.”

In addition to those six year-end No. 1 finishes, Djokovic is seeking his sixth ATP Finals title (2008, 2012-2015). Those six will tie him for the most ATP Finals titles in the event’s 50-year history with Roger Federer. Today, however, belonged to the man still looking for his first title in London: Rafael Nadal. Here are the key takeaways from Day 1 action at the 02 Arena.

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