Djokovic beats Ruud to win record sixth ATP Finals title

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TURIN — Novak Djokovic beat Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5 6-3 to claim a record sixth ATP Finals title on Sunday, earning the biggest salary ever in tennis — US$4,740,300 — for having finished the season-ending tournament undefeated.

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Djokovic sealed victory in style with an ace, one of nine in the match, to claim the title for the first time since 2015 in front of a cheering crowd who were squarely in his corner.

“I have to stay focused the whole game, every point, the momentum can go to the other side very quickly,” the Serb said in a TV interview after the game.

“The fact that I’ve waited seven years makes this victory even sweeter,” he added as he tied Roger Federer’s six titles in the season-ending event among the world’s top eight players.

Ruud, 23, had the best tennis of his career in 2022 and went neck and neck with the 21-time Major winner early on, but made two clumsy mistakes at the worst time to give Djokovic the break to the end. of the first set.

Djokovic put his foot on the accelerator from there, reminding the Pala Alpitour crowd why he is among the best to ever pick up a racquet as he harnessed his powerful forehand to break Ruud in the fourth game of the second set.

The Norwegian threw everything he had at the veteran in a penultimate 36-shot rally, but the Wimbledon champion was just too quick, outlasting his opponent in the marathon exchange and shoving aside the arms after winning the title.

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