Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud to claim ATP Finals crown and tie Roger Federer’s record

Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud to claim ATP Finals crown and tie Roger Federer’s record

Novak Djokovic beat Casper Ruud in straight sets on Sunday to claim the ATP Finals title for a record-equalling sixth time in Turin.

The Serbian was pushed all the way by Ruud but eventually won the title in straight sets 7-5 6-3.

Ruud saved two break points in his first service game of the opening set to hold, but it set the tone for the match, with the Norwegian regularly forced onto the back foot.

There were a number of lengthy rallies during the match, including 36 shots in the final game to set up a championship point for Djokovic, who then clinched the title with an ace.

Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record for ATP Finals championships with his first title at the year-end event in seven years.

The former world No 1 was pleased with his performance and said the long wait for his sixth title made him appreciate the victory more.

“It’s finals, usually these kind of matches are decided by very small margins and one break of serve was enough in both sets,” said Djokovic.

“I knew Casper was playing really well coming into this match. I think we both served very well. I think in some decisive moments, like the 12th game of the first set, I just managed to put a few returns back in play, make him run and make him play.

“I was really pleased with the way I was playing from the back of the court, particularly the forehand was looking to be really aggressive and it worked great. I am really pleased with the performance.”

Casper Ruud has lost this year’s ATP Finals, French Open and US Open finals (AFP via Getty Images)
Casper Ruud has lost this year’s ATP Finals, French Open and US Open finals (AFP via Getty Images)

He added: “[There were] a lot of nerves, particularly in that 30-all point, that was the longest rally of the match.

“As I said, you’ve got to stay focused the entire match, every single point. Momentum can shift to the other side very quickly.

“Seven years, it’s been a long time, but at the same time this – the fact that I waited seven years – makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger.”

In the doubles, Joe Salisbury became the first British player to win the title, alongside partner Rajeev Ram.

The duo had lost the final last year but were victorious this time around, beating Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6 (4) 6-4 to lift the trophy.

PA