ATP Tour Finals, Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud, scores, results,
Novak Djokovic said winning a record sixth ATP Tour Finals title on Sunday was a “deeply satisfying” end to his troubled and truncated year.
The Serb beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-3 in Turin to equal Roger Federer’s record of six titles at the year-end tournament for top-ranked players – and win tennis’ biggest prize never realized, 7 million Australian dollars. .
The 35-year-old Serb, the oldest player to win the final, finished on a high after a season in which he missed two major tournaments due to his vaccination status.
“It’s deeply satisfying and, at the same time, a huge relief because of the circumstances I’ve been through this year, situations earlier this year, of course, with Australia,” he said.
“We don’t need to go back. We know what happened.
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In January, Djokovic was arrested and expelled from Australia due to his unvaccinated Covid status and missed the Australian Open.
“It obviously had an effect on my start to the year. During the first few months, I was trying to find that balance in terms of the game but also mentally so that I could get back on the court and find the level of tennis that I had. need.
Djokovic was initially banned from returning to Australia until 2025, but earlier in the week Canberra’s new government said the nine-time Australian Open champion would be free to play in January’s tournament.
“I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I know that what I hold in mind is still a huge thirst for winning trophies,” Djokovic said.
The victory in Turin, which also nets a check for $4.7 million (A$7 million), came seven years after his last ATP Finals victory and will move him from eighth to fifth place. of Monday’s new standings at the end of a season in which he also won Wimbledon. Carlos Alcaraz, who missed the final through injury, is number one.
“In my mind, I still consider myself the best player in the world, of course,” he said.
“I’m not. I’m fifth. This week I probably am. Overall, the rankings show who has had the best year, and Alcaraz is world No.
Djokovic and his wife brought his eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter to Turin.
“Extremely special to me,” he said. “I don’t get to have those moments on tour with them so much.”
“I took my two children a lot, especially my son, to tennis practices, warm-ups, matches. He was very loud, I must say. I was very surprised. I could hear his voice all the time.
“They are now both aware of what is happening, what the father is doing.”
– ‘Close stitches’ –
For Ruud, 23, it was a third near miss of the year. He also lost the French Open and US Open finals.
“At the end of the day, it’s disappointing to end up losing these grand finals,” he said. “Overall, if you offered me to finish the year at No. 3, to play the finals that I played, on January 1 of this year, I would probably sign the contract right away.”
“I exceeded my expectations from my own mind, so I’m very happy about that.” Ruud has never taken a set from either Djokovic or his French Open final winner Rafael Nadal.
“They have that kind of ability in them to step up when they really have to that I don’t have,” Ruud said. “They always seem to win the tight points, the tight sets.”