Diego Schwartzman suffered a similar fate to fellow ATP Finals debutant Andrey Rublev the previous night as the Argentine was brushed aside by five-time champion Novak Djokovic on Monday.
Russian Rublev barely laid a glove on 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafa Nadal during a straight sets loss and Schwartzman looked equally powerless to prevent a sixth loss from six meetings with the clinical Djokovic, subsiding 6-3 6-2.
The Serb dropped his serve early on at the virtually empty O2 Arena, where on Sunday he was presented with the ATP`s end-of-year number one award for a record-equalling sixth time. But from that moment on he was immaculate.
He broke back immediately and then pounced again when Schartzman served at 3-4, outmanoeuvring his opponent before pummelling away a forehand winner into the corner.
With no fans in the 18,000 arena to rally to the Argentine`s underdog cause, world number nine Schwartzman never looked capable of turning the opening Tokyo Group match into a contest.
Djokovic secured two breaks in the second set and clinched victory with a minimum of fuss.
“I was very happy the way I played in the second set when I started swinging through the ball,” Djokovic said on court.
“It was close I think until I broke at 4-3. It was tough for Diego, first match in the arena he maybe wasn`t playing his best in the closing moments of the first set.”
The 33-year-old world number one is bidding to win the title for the first time since 2015 and equal Roger Federer`s six.
Later on Monday the 2018 champion Alexander Zverev takes on Russian Daniil Medvedev.