Rafael Nadal launched his bid for a first ATP Finals trophy in style on Sunday, taming in-form Andrey Rublev in straight sets in London after Dominic Thiem beat Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Spanish world number two, chasing the biggest prize missing from his glittering resume, barely broke sweat as he outclassed the Russian debutant 6-3, 6-4 at the empty O2 Arena.

Earlier, US Open champion Thiem avenged his defeat by Tsitsipas in the championship match last year, beating the Greek sixth seed 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-3.

Nadal, who last month equalled Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slams by winning the French Open, has won 86 titles but just one of those has come on an indoor hard court.

His record at the eight-man elite event pales in comparison with his main rivals. Federer, who is absent with injury, has won it a record six times and Novak Djokovic has triumphed five times.

Nadal, 34, and Rublev both held serve comfortably in the early stages of their Group London 2020 round-robin match.

But the Spaniard, who was comprehensively outserving his 23-year-old opponent, made his move in the sixth game, breaking the Russian, who hurled his racket to the ground in frustration, and wrapping up the set with the minimum of fuss.

Rublev, who has won...

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