Novak Djokovic will claim the biggest cash prize in tennis if he beats Casper Ruud in Sunday’s ATP Finals championship match in Turin.
The Serbian struggled physically in his final group match against Daniil Medvedev on Friday evening but went into the semi-finals as the only unbeaten singles player and battled to a 7-6 (5) 7-6 (6) victory over American Fritz.
Djokovic looked uncomfortable at times but stepped up when it mattered, threading a forehand down the line to take the opening set and then fighting back from 5-3 down in the second.
The 35-year-old won four successive titles between 2012 and 2015 to close to within one of his great rival Federer but has not managed to lift the trophy since.
Djokovic has won all four of his matches at this year’s ATP Finals and if he wins the final on Sunday, he is in line to collect a cheque for a staggering $4,740,300.
“Of course, people can see how much we are earning,” said Djokovic.
“What the media is not writing about is all the taxes and also the other expenses, but that’s fine.
“I cannot sit here and talk about money as an issue in my life or anything like that. I’ve been very blessed and lucky. It comes as a consequence of my tennis and the success that I’ve had, along with my family and my team.
“I think that every euro that I’ve earned was through hard sweat and tears. I don’t take anything for granted because I know how it feels like having zero on the table, five family members, war and sanctions.
“Let’s not forget where I come from, in which kind of era I was growing up I know exactly the opposite side, which helps me in life I think to appreciate everything I earn more.”
Djokovic will draw level with Roger Federer’s record of six wins at the ATP Finals if he wins on Sunday and he is relishing the chance to make more history.
“I’m aware of this record,” he added. “Making history of this sport is always a big motivational factor for me.
“I mean, doesn’t maybe necessarily affect the whole approach to the specific match because I’m experienced enough and I know myself well and what I need to do in order to prepare for my next challenge and next opponent.”
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