Novak Djokovic extended its winning streak to six matches on Monday at ATP Finals with a 7-6 (4) win over Casper Ruud.
After a two-month break following his defeat to Daniil Medvedev at the U.S. Open finals, Djokovic was back this month and won his first Grand Slam in calendar year.
He’s now attempting to match Roger Federer’s record of six titles at the season-ending event for the top eight players.
Djokovic’s victory gave him an early lead at Green Group’s top in round-robin play. Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 2018 champion, will face Andrey Rublev later.
Alexander Zverev (Medvedev) won the Red Group in Turin on Sunday. The tournament had been held in London for 12 years.
Djokovic was presented the trophy after the match for finishing the year ranked No. 1, a feat he accomplished for a record seventh time — breaking a tie with childhood idol Pete Sampras.
Djokovic spoke on court about how he fell in love tennis watching Sampras as a child and asked his father for a racket.
“Now I’m here and I’ve won this (trophy) seven times, one more than (Sampras) — incredible,” Djokovic told the crowd in Italian. “The dream does not end. I hope to continue playing this great sport for a few years.”
Later, when asked about his on-court comments, the 34-year-old Djokovic said he doesn’t have a number in mind for how many more years he wants to play.
“I don’t want to impose a limit to myself at all, because I still enjoy playing tennis, and I really enjoy competition and playing at the highest level,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. “Being No. I am No. 1 in the world so there is no reason to quit tennis. I am really in a good spot at the moment.”
Ruud, a first time qualifier, broke Djokovic’s serve in the opening match. He fell to the court and dropped the racket while changing direction to play a lob. Djokovic was able pick his racket up and hit a weak response, but Ruud quickly closed the point.
Djokovic won the break back with Ruud’s double-fault, and the first set was evened at 3-3. Djokovic then began holding easily and putting pressure on Ruud’s serve, enabling him to wear the Norwegian down during the tiebreaker.
Djokovic won near-perfect 20 points from 21 points thanks to the Pala Alpitour’s fast conditions. He also won 35 of 39 matches.
Rudd had nine aces, while Djokovic had 10.
Source: Fox News