Novak (*6*) claimed a record-tying sixth ATP Finals title by beating the third-seeded Casper Ruud on Sunday to prime a unbelievable end to the season for the Serb.
(*6*) gained 7-5, 6-3 to safe his first title on the occasion since 2015 and match Roger Federer’s file.
The 35-year-old (*6*), 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,” (*6*) mentioned. “At the identical time, the truth that I waited seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even larger.
“A number of nerves … I missed a few forehands within the final sport once 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.”
(*6*) turned the oldest champion on the prestigious year-end match and likewise earned the most important payday in tennis historical past as he walked away with $4.7 million US for claiming the ATP Finals trophy undefeated.
“I made him run, made him play,” (*6*) mentioned. “I used to be seeking to be very aggressive and it labored nice. I’m actually happy with the efficiency.”
Up and down 12 months for Ruud
It was Ruud’s fourth defeat in a serious championship match this 12 months after additionally shedding finals at Miami, Roland Garros and the U.S. Open. Ruud has by no means gained a set towards (*6*) in 4 conferences.
“In the tip it has been disappointing to finish up shedding these huge finals,” Ruud mentioned. “Overall, in case you gave me a proposal to finish the 12 months at No. 3, play the finals that I’ve performed, on the 1st of January this 12 months I’d most likely sign the contract immediately. No doubt about it.
“It provides me motivation and a starvation to perhaps subsequent time — if I ever get to a different ultimate like this — I hope I can be taught from what I’ve accomplished this 12 months and never been in a position to do and see the way it goes.”
(*6*) 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 (*6*) broke once more within the fourth sport of the second set and there was no means again for Ruud.
(*6*) has ended the 12 months with an 18-1 file after profitable trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana earlier than reaching the Paris Masters ultimate. His 5 titles this season additionally embrace triumphs at Wimbledon and in Rome.
And his coach, former second-ranked Goran Ivanisevic, had a stark warning for Djokovic’s rivals.
“He’s practising even tougher than when he was 22,” Ivanisevic mentioned. “That’s why he is nonetheless so good and that is why he is nonetheless going to be even higher.”