Kei Nishikori was the latest victim of the runaway train that is Novak Djokovic as the world No 1 romped to victory in his opening match at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The statistics of Djokovic’s season get more impressive by the day and he needed only 65 minutes to defeat Nishikori 6-1 6-1 and register a 23rd consecutive win.
The O2 Arena turned red, white and blue prior to the match as a minute’s silence was observed for the victims of Friday’s attacks in Paris.
Once attention turned back to matters on court, Djokovic, who has lost just one set since the US Open final, wasted no time in stamping his authority, establishing a 3-0 lead.
Nishikori battled hard to get on the board in the fourth game but that was as good as it got as Djokovic, his game and his movement razor sharp, reeled off the next three.
The Serbian is even more dominant indoors than elsewhere. He is unbeaten since 2012 and is bidding to become the first player to win four successive World Tour Finals titles.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nishikori looked at a loss as to how to trouble Djokovic and he made the worst possible start to the second set, dropping serve for a third time.
Djokovic was playing with swagger and a nonchalant backhand volley gave him the most comfortable of opening wins.
Earlier, Jamie Murray and Australian John Peers marked their debut at the tournament with victory over Australian Open champions Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a match that, unlike the singles, was a real contest.
Murray and Peers are seeded fourth in the doubles after a superb season that saw them reach the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
And they were in fine form in the opening match of the end-of-season tournament in London, holding their nerve to win the deciding match tie-break and clinch a 7-6 (7/5) 3-6 11-9 victory.
Andy Murray plays Spain’s David Ferrer today.
Last night, Roger Federer began his campaign in Djokovic’s group with a similarly straightforward win over Tomas Berdych, 6-4 6-2.