It is no secret to anyone that Novak Djokovic is motivated by great challenges and the one he had ahead of him this Sunday was one of the biggest of the season. The Serbian was in position to become the player with the most solo titles at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin with an audience devoted to the local idol.
And as he has done so many other times throughout his award-winning career, the No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings turned adversity into inspiration to defeat Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 43 minutes, so just five days after falling in the group stage against the same rival.
In this way, Djokovic lifted his seventh title at the Nitto ATP Finals (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022 and 2023), breaking the tie that he maintained until this Sunday with Roger Federer (both with six crowns).
Most titles at the Nitto ATP Finals
Novak Djokovic – 7
Roger Federer – 6
Ivan Lendl – 5
Pete Sampras – 5
In addition, the 36-year-old Serbian managed to extend his record of seniority in the tournament. Although last year he had become the oldest champion (35) to lift the title and the first to do so in three different decades, in this edition he extended his immortality in Turin.
Djokovic also made sure, in the last tournament of the season for him, to be the most successful player in 2023. His record this year amounts to seven titles won in this order: Adelaide-1, Australian Open, Roland Garros, ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, US Open, ATP Masters 1000 in Paris and Nitto ATP Finals.
More titles in 2023
Novak Djokovic – 7
Carlos Alcaraz – 6
Daniil Medvedev – 5
Jannik Sinner – 4
All these data occur after the Serbian was on the brink of the abyss after the defeat last Tuesday, November 14. That, which was the only one Djokovic has suffered against Sinner, could have left him out at the group stage cut, but the Italian’s own victory against Rune allowed him to move on.
In the final in Turin, the Balkan defeated Sinner to extend the Lexus ATP Head2Head against the 22-year-old Italian to 4-1 in his favor. He did it with a solid version from the beginning, taking advantage of the lack of experience of his rival and the pressure of having to play for the biggest title of his career in front of his audience.
Thus, in the fourth game of the clash, Djokovic found the first break opportunity that he did not miss to open a small gap on the scoreboard (4-1). The gap was insurmountable for Sinner to recover, because the main favorite in Turin raised his percentage of success with the serve to 91% (20/22).
Far from taking a step back, the world number one maintained his level of aggressiveness in the first game to the rest of the second set to break to love. Three consecutive games allowed him to lead 6-3, 2-0 in just 45 minutes.
Of the 30 points he had scored with his serve, twelve of them had come in the form of aces. But in the sixth game of the second set, Sinner forced him to suffer with his serve like never before. The Italian had two opportunities to equalize at 2-3, 15/40, but Djokovic resisted to keep the distance (4-2).
Immediately afterwards it was Djokovic who suffocated the Italian in the rest, who had to resist two break opportunities against him, eight deuces and more than 15 minutes of play (4-3). Although the forces were equal, the score did not change and the Serbian was able to make history in Turin with his seventh trophy at the Nitto ATP Finals.
Did you know…?
This Monday, November 20, Novak Djokovic will begin his 400th week at No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The Serbian is going through his tenth stage at the top of the classification and, on this occasion, he has already reached eleven consecutive weeks since he began this period on September 11, 2023.