World number one Novak Djokovic claimed a record seventh Nitto ATP Finals crown by defeating home hope Jannik Sinner in straight sets at the Pala Alpitour on Sunday in Turin, breaking his tie with Roger Federer for most titles in tournament history.
Novak Djokovic completed his title defense at the Nitto ATP Finals, earning a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over fourth seed Jannik Sinner after one hour and 43 minutes to win an unprecedented seventh title at the season-ending event on Sunday in Turin.
After the match, the champion shared: “It’s one of the best seasons I’ve had in my life, no doubt. To crown it with a win against a hometown hero in Jannik, who has played amazing tennis this week, is phenomenal.”
“I’m very proud of the performances these past two days against Alcaraz and Sinner, probably the best two players in the world next to me and Medvedev at the moment – and the way they have been playing, I had to step it up.”
He launched his campaign by holding off eighth seed Holger Rune in a three-setter last Sunday. Then, he lost a dramatic battle against Sinner 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2).
On Thursday, he took down alternate Hubert Hurkacz, 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1, who stepped in for injured Stefanos Tsitsipas in Green Group round robin stage. And then, he ousted second seed Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals.
Addressing his performance, Djokovic outlined: “I had to win the matches and not wait for them to hand me the victory, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Adding: “I think I played different tactically than I did in the group stage against Jannik, and just overall, it was a phenomenal week.”
The Championship Match as It Happened
The Serbian came out solid to play a flawless opener behind his serve – won 88 percent of the first serve points (7 aces), neutralizing his opponent.
He took control of the match in the fourth game when a combination of depth and precision earned him the break.
Djokovic pocketed the first set 6-3 in 38 minutes without facing a breakpoint.
In addition, he fired eight winners to just two unforced errors compared to Sinner’s 6 and 13, respectively.
With the wind in his sails, the top seed broke to open the second set, quickly extending his advantage to 2-0.
And despite facing a double breakpoint on his own serve in the sixth game, he stayed calm, making his adversary move from side to side, forcing mistakes the Italian could not afford against the World No. 1, who held at 4-2.
Striking the ball cleanly on return, the Belgrade born became a wall on the other side of the net, which allowed no trespassing.
Thus, he added pressure on the Italian service games, but the 22-year-old raised his level to survive a ninth-deuce game and hold serve at 3-4 against a ruthless rival.
Unrelenting, the US Open champion shut the door, converting a second breakpoint in the ninth game to wrap up the second set 6-3 in 64 minutes and clinch a record seventh title at the prestigious year-end-championships, the cherry on top of a pie filled with outstanding feats.
Playing high-level tennis, probably his best performance throughout all week, the 36-year-old once and again showcased fantastic athleticism and consistency against the talented Italian player, whose exceptional run on home soil is one to highlight.
Across the 2023 season, in his own words, one of the best of his career, he excelled mentally and physically, adding seven titles to his name.
He advanced to all four major finals, finding glory in three of the world’s biggest tennis stages to become a 24-time Grand Slam champion.
Moreover, he earned the ATP Year-End No. 1 honors for the eighth time, a remarkable feat he captured after his opening triumph over Rune.
On Monday, the 98-time tour-level champion will reach the impressive mark of 400 weeks at the top of the rankings.
Meanwhile, the San Candido native reached a new career-high at World No. 4, winning four titles, including his first Masters 1000 in Toronto.
Furthermore, he progressed to the finals in Rotterdam, Miami and Turin.