Djokovic beat Ruud in the ATP Finals for his sixth straight win

Djokovic beat Ruud in the ATP Finals for his sixth straight win

Turin Top-ranked Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to six matches with a 7-6 (4) 6-2 victory over Casper Rudd on Monday to open his ATP Finals campaign.

After a two-month hiatus after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final – which ended his quest for major slams in the calendar year – Djokovic returned this month and won the Paris Masters.

He is now trying to equal Roger Federer’s record of six titles in the season-ending event for the top eight players.

The win gave Djokovic an early lead over the green group lead in the robin match, with 2018 champion Stefanos Tsitsipas playing with Andrei Rublev later.

Medvedev and Alexander Zverev won the red group on Sunday as the tournament debuted in Turin after 12 years in London.

After the match, Djokovic took home the trophy to finish the year in first place, a feat he achieved for the record seventh time – tie-breaking with childhood star Pete Sampras.

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In an interview on the court, Djokovic recounted how he fell in love with tennis watching Sampras when he was “4 or 5 years old” and asked his father to buy him a tennis racket.

“Now I’m here and I’ve won this (cup) seven times, once more than (Sampras) – it’s unbelievable,” Djokovic told the Italian crowd. “The dream goes on. I hope to play this wonderful sport for a few years.”

Rudd, a first-time qualifier, broke his serve in the game’s opener when Djokovic fell on the court and dropped his racket when he changed direction to run on the ball. Djokovic managed to get his racket back and hit a poor response but Rudd then quickly finished the point.

A double fault from Ruud re-rested Djokovic and tied the first set 3-3. Then Djokovic began to easily hold on and press Rudd’s serve, which enabled him to weaken the Norwegian during the tiebreak.

Aided by fast conditions inside the Pala Alpitour, Djokovic won nearly 20 of 21 points with his first serve in the opening set, and 35 of 39 throughout the match.

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Djokovic sent 10 aces and flew nine.

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