ATP Finals 2022: Novak Djokovic emulates Roger Federer after beating Casper Ruud to win 6th title
ATP Finals 2022: Novak Djokovic equaled Roger Federer’s record for most ATP Finals titles as he defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets in Sunday’s final in Turin.
Novak Djokovic won his 6th ATP Finals 2022 title in Turin (AP Photo)
By Akshay Ramesh: Novak Djokovic firmly established his dominance over the rest of the men’s singles field by cruising to a record-equalling 6th ATP Finals crown in Turin, Italy on Sunday, November 20. Djokovic defeated World No. 3 Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-3 in less than 2 hours in the final of the season-ending tournament.
It was a statement victory for Djokovic, who won his 5th title on the tour in 2022, which also includes the Wimbledon crown. Cheered on by his wife Jelena and his team, Djokovic was pumped up as he ended a difficult season on a high, sending a warning notice to his challengers ahead of the new season wherein he would be heading to the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic equaled Roger Federer’s record of the most titles in the ATP Finals and the 35-year-old also became the oldest man to win the season-ending crown, going past the Swiss’s record — 30 years old in 2011. It was the third city where Djokovic reigned supreme in the ATP Finals after Shangai in 2008 and London in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The Serb also ended a 6-year wait for the crown.
Djokovic took home more than USD 4.7 million, which included the bonus for having been undefeated in Turin in the ATP Finals. After fending off a firm threat from Daniil Medvedev in his final group-stage match, Djokovic defeated USA’s Taylor Fritz in the semi-final in straight sets.
NOT 100 % BUT DOMINANT
On Sunday, despite feeling under the weather, Djokovic got the job done in straight sets against Ruud, who was playing his first ATP Finals. The Serb looked shaky during the first set but he was able to focus on the job at hand. Djokovic missed break point opportunities in the 2nd and 8th games in the first set but he converted a decisive break point at 6-5 to take the first set.
Once he sealed the early advantage, there was no stopping Djokovic as he steamrolled Ruud, dominating the second set, hitting back-of-the-court winners at will. Djokovic’s service game was on point on Sunday as Ruud was not able to break the Serb even once in the final.
Djokovic did not face a single break point throughout the match and fired in 31 winners, 14 more than Ruud, who was struggling with his second serves.
The Serb will finish the year as No. 5 despite having missed the Australian Open and US Open due to his unvaccinated status.
GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT
Casper Ruud, who had a breakthrough year on the tour, winning as many as 3 titles and reaching the finals of the French Open and the US Open, was gracious in defeat. The Norwegian lauded Djokovic for his efforts to overcome obstacles and be there in the season-ending tournament and go on to win it.
Ruud had an opportunity to finish the year as No. 2 but he was not able to step up in the big final, suffering his 4th straight defeat to Djokovic on the tour.
“It motivates me to comeback stronger,” 23-year-old Ruud said as he appreciated the support from the fans in what was a memorable season.