ATP Finals Live: Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud: World No.1 Novak Djokovic has defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud in the opening round of ATP Finals on Monday. He defeated Ruud in straight sets after a challenging opening set that went into a tie-breaker. He beat Ruud 7-6 in the challenge after being pushed to bring his A-game on the court by the Norweigian. Djokovic is a slow starter, he was his best after opening. In the second set, he looked in full flow to defeat Ruud 6-4 to kick start his sensational form in ATP Finals. Follow the live updates of ATP Finals on InsideSport.
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ATP Finals: World No.1 Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud in straight sets
Djokovic beats Ruud- World number one Djokovic is looking to complete a remarkable year with a sixth Finals title after only just missing out on claiming all four Grand Slams in a single season, and got off to a strong start against eighth seed Ruud, winning in around 90 minutes.
He sits top of the Green Group ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ clash with Andrey Rublev in Monday’s evening session, and is looking to cap a season which he finished the top-ranked player for a record seventh time.
Djokovic attracted wild applause from the Turin crowd when he insisted on speaking in Italian for his on-court interview after the match, before which he was honoured for once again being the world’s top player.
“It’s a great feeling being back here in Italy… thanks for all your support over these years, Italy is like a second home for me,” Djokovic said.
“It’s one of the most difficult things to do in our sport, to finish number one at the end of the year you have to play really well, consistently and with a lot of success throughout the year on every surface. I’m very proud.”
Norwegian Ruud, playing his first-ever match at the finals against one of the game’s greatest ever, played creditably and could easily have taken a one-set lead.
The 22-year-old came out firing by breaking Djokovic in the very first game, but by game seven the Serb was in front 4-3 and looked well placed to take the first set.
Djokovic arrived at game 10 with his one-game lead intact and the match apparently turning in his favour but Ruud saved two break points to hold his serve and eventually take the set to a tie-break.
Ruud held a 4-3 advantage in the tie-break but Djokovic turned up the pressure by winning four straight games to claim the first set, and from there he raced clear.
Djokovic immediately broke Ruud at the start of the second set and from there he strolled to victory, breaking one more time on his way to claiming the second set and the match.
ATP Finals LIVE– Djokovic aiming record 6th title
As 2021 nears its end, Djokovic will be looking to end the year on a high. He is ready to create a number of records in the upcoming tournament. Ruthless Djokovic has so far won 44 out of his 48 matches in this ATP season.
- Novak Djokovic can equal Swiss Tennis Maestro Roger Federer for most ATP Finals titles in the history of the tournament. Djokovic is currently tied with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.
- He can become the oldest ATP Finals champion. Federer was 30 years old when he last won the tournament. Djokovic had last won the trophy in 2015.
- The Serbian legend can win the second most number of matches in ATP Finals. He is only one victory behind Ivan Lendl. The maximum number of wins is achieved by Roger Federer- 59
- Djokovic can win the ATP Finals in three different decades. He was won the title in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, Federer registered victories in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011.
- He can win the trophy in three different countries, only the third player after Roger Federer and Ilie Nastase. Federer won the tournament in USA, UK and China. Nastase emerged victorious in France, Spain, USA and Sweden. Djokovic, meanwhile, has won in UK and China. Now he is set to play ATP Finals 2021 in Turin, Italy.
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(with inputs from AFP)