TURIN, Italy –
Novak Djokovic claimed a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title by beating the third-seeded Casper Ruud on Sunday to prime a unbelievable end to the season for the Serb.
Djokovic gained 7-5, 6-3 to safe his first title on the occasion since 2015 and match Roger Federer’s record.
The 35-year-old Djokovic, who had misplaced his two earlier finals on the occasion, raised his arms out and smiled broadly after sealing the match with an ace.
“Seven years has been a very long time,” Djokovic stated. “At the identical time, the truth that I waited seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even greater.
“A number of nerves … I missed a few forehands within the final recreation after I was serving for it. I had nerves, however I’m actually grateful to have the ability to serve the match out. I had a giant ace to shut out.”
Djokovic grew to become the oldest champion on the prestigious year-end match and in addition earned the biggest payday in tennis historical past as he walked away with $4.7 million for claiming the ATP Finals trophy undefeated.
“I made him run, made him play,” Djokovic stated. “I used to be seeking to be very aggressive and it labored nice. I’m actually happy with the efficiency.”
It was Ruud’s fourth defeat in a significant championship match this yr after additionally shedding finals at Miami, Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. Ruud has by no means gained a set in opposition to Djokovic in 4 conferences.
“In the top it has been disappointing to finish up shedding these massive finals,” Ruud stated. “Overall, for those who gave me a suggestion to finish the yr at No. 3, play the finals that I’ve performed, on the 1st of January this yr I might most likely sign the contract instantly. No doubt about it.
“It provides me motivation and a starvation to perhaps subsequent time — if I ever get to a different remaining like this — I hope I can be taught from what I’ve achieved this yr and never been in a position to do and see the way it goes.”
Djokovic began strongly in Turin and had two break factors in Ruud’s very first service recreation. The Norwegian managed to get better though he was additionally pressured to save lots of one other break level within the eighth recreation.
Djokovic lastly broke Ruud’s serve on the fourth time of asking. And it was at a vital moment, on set level, and he ecstatically pumped his fist within the air after Ruud despatched a backhand lengthy.
The seventh-seeded Djokovic broke once more within the fourth recreation of the second set and there was no means again for Ruud.
Djokovic has ended the yr with an 18-1 record after successful trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana earlier than reaching the Paris Masters remaining. His 5 titles this season additionally embody triumphs at Wimbledon and in Rome.
And his coach, former second-ranked Goran Ivanisevic, had a stark warning for Djokovic’s rivals.
“He’s working towards even more durable than when he was 22,” Ivanisevic stated. “That’s why he is nonetheless so good and that is why he is nonetheless going to be even higher.”