Tennis

Novak clinches sixth Nitto ATP Finals crown!

Nole is the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals champion!

Novak Djokovic produced an impressive performance on Sunday to lift the Nitto ATP Finals trophy as an undefeated champion, following a 7-5, 6-3 triumph over third seed Casper Ruud in the title match.

The 35-year-old Serbian star captured his sixth season finale crown, which matches Roger Federer’s tournament record. It is his 91st career title, and fifth in 2022.

In a high-class final, Novak was sharp from the first to the last point. He converted his fourth break point chance in the 12th game of the opening set to break Ruud’s resistance. The second break came in the fourth game of the second set and five games later Djokovic raised his arms high in celebration after closing out the victory with an ace.

The 21-time major champion is now 4-0 in career H2H meetings against the Norwegian. The final contest at the Pala Alpitour lasted one hour and 32 minutes.

“There were a lot of nerves, particularly in that 30/30 point at 5-3 in the second set,” Djokovic said. “You have to stay focused the entire match. The momentum can shift to the other side very quickly. I missed a couple of forehands in the last game when I was serving for it. I had nerves, but I am really grateful to be able to serve the match out. I had a big ace to close out. Seven years [since winning this title] has been a long time. At the same time, the fact that I waited seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger.”

Match statistics: aces (9-6), double faults (0-1), winners (31-17), total points won (64-48).

With the win, Novak has won 1,500 Pepperstone ATP ranking points.

Though he missed six prominent events this season due to COVID-19 entry rules (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open), Djokovic accumulated a W/L record of 41-7, and won his 21st Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.

Nole will end the year as the world no.5, with 4,820 points. He has a strong chance at passing Carlos Alcaraz early in the 2023 season, as the nine-time Australian Open titlist is not defending points in Melbourne.

Photo: Profimedia

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