Novak Djokovic defeats Casper Ruud to win sixth Nitto ATP Finals title

(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud 7-5 6-3 to win a record equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals title. The victory meant that Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s tournament record of titles and became the oldest champion in the season-ending tournament. The 35 year old maintained his unbeaten run against Ruud and the victory meant that the Serbian won a prize money of $4.7 million as well as 1,500 ATP Rankings points. It was the first time Djokovic won the season-ending title since 2015.

Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “Seven years, it's been a long time. At the same time, the fact that I waited seven years makes his victory even sweeter and even bigger. It's a huge deal (to end the year with a win). I've probably talked about this season and how unusual it is a thousand times, so I'm not going to repeat what most people who follow tennis know. It's just a big relief and satisfaction. Also, I look forward to having a couple of weeks off," Djokovic continued. "I was on the needles (edge), whether it was for tournaments or waiting for permission to go somewhere. So, I'm really glad that I managed to end it in a positive way." 

In the opening set, Ruud saved two break points in his first service game and the Norwegian was forced into the back foot throughout the match. The game featured a number of lengthy rallies, including 36 shots in the final one with Djokovic clinching the title with an ace. Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “It feels deeply satisfying and, at the same time, a huge relief because of the circumstances that I have been through this year, situations earlier this year, of course, with Australia. That had an effect obviously on my start of the year. For the first several months, I was trying to find that balance game-wise but also mentally in order to be able to come back to the court and find that tennis level that I need. I don't know what the future holds but I know that what I hold in my mind is a huge hunger still to win trophies." 

In the doubles category, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury defeated Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. The result meant that Salisbury became the first Briton to win the Nitto ATP Finals doubles title while Ram is the 18th American. Salisbury said “That's probably up there with one of our best matches, one of our best matches as a team. I think we're so proud of everything we've done this week. We've come through some tough situations, but we've stuck together the whole way. [I'm] so happy, I can't believe we've achieved this." 

Also read: ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic defeats Daniil Medvedev in Turin


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