Djokovic opens Finals bid with win over Ruud

World primary Djokovic is seeking to full a exceptional yr with a sixth Finals title after solely simply lacking out on claiming all 4 Grand Slams in a single season, and acquired off to a robust begin towards eighth seed Ruud, profitable in round 90 minutes.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the ATP no 1 participant trophy after profitable to Norway’s Casper Ruud throughout their single match of ATP Finals’ first spherical on the Pala Alpitour venue in Turin on November 15, 2021. Image: Marco Bertorello / AFP

TURIN – Novak Djokovic started his try and equal Roger Federer’s file variety of ATP Finals triumphs with a straight-sets 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win over Casper Ruud on Monday.

World primary Djokovic is seeking to full a exceptional yr with a sixth Finals title after solely simply lacking out on claiming all 4 Grand Slams in a single season, and acquired off to a robust begin towards eighth seed Ruud, profitable in round 90 minutes.

He sits high of the Inexperienced Group forward of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ conflict with Andrey Rublev in Monday’s night session, and is seeking to cap a season which he completed the top-ranked participant for a file seventh time.

Djokovic attracted wild applause from the Turin crowd when he insisted on talking in Italian for his on-court interview after the match, earlier than which he was honoured for as soon as once more being the world’s high participant.

“It is an excellent feeling being again right here in Italy… thanks for all of your assist over these years, Italy is sort of a second dwelling for me,” Djokovic mentioned.

“It is one of the troublesome issues to do in our sport, to complete primary on the finish of the yr you must play very well, persistently and with lots of success all year long on each floor. I am very proud.”

Norwegian Ruud, taking part in his first ever match on the finals towards one of many recreation’s best ever, performed creditably and will simply have taken a one-set lead.

The 22-year-old got here out firing by breaking Djokovic within the very first recreation, however by recreation seven the Serb was in entrance 4-3 and regarded effectively positioned to take the primary set.

Djokovic arrived at recreation 10 along with his one-game lead intact and the match apparently handing over his favour however Ruud saved two break factors to carry his serve and finally take the set to a tie-break.

Ruud held a 4-3 benefit within the tie-break however Djokovic turned up the stress by profitable 4 straight video games to say the primary set, and from there he raced clear.

Djokovic instantly broke Ruud initially of the second set and from there he strolled to victory, breaking yet another time on his option to claiming the second set and the match.

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