Novak Djokovic improves his ATP Finals opening round-robin record to 13-1; the world No 1 also equals Ivan Lendl for the second-most wins (39) in ATP Finals history after defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud in Turin
Last Updated: 15/11/21 3:44pm
Year-end world No 1 Novak Djokovic began his quest for a sixth ATP Finals title with a comfortable opening round-robin win against Casper Ruud in Turin on Monday.
Djokovic, who is aiming to match Roger Federer’s record haul of six season-ending titles, won a tight opening set before cruising through the second to seal a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win over the Norwegian rookie.
He arrived in Italy on the back of a 37th Masters title in Paris but dropped serve in the opening game after a point when he stumbled and dropped his racket before netting, but he settled into the match and broke back for 3-3.
Ruud, who has developed his game this year to be a threat on all surfaces, rather than just his favoured clay, did well to save two set points at 4-5, but Djokovic came out on top in the tie-break.
The second set was a masterclass from Djokovic, who applied intense pressure to his 22-year-old opponent’s serve and eased to victory.
Former champion Stefanos Tsitsipas takes on Andrey Rublev in the second group match on Monday night.
Joe Salisbury won the battle of the Britons against Jamie Murray at the tournament held in Italy.
This is the first time two British doubles players have qualified for the tournament as one of the top eight teams of the year, with Salisbury partnering American Rajeev Ram and Murray teaming up with Brazilian Bruno Soares.
The pairs faced each other in their first group match and, for the third time this year, it was Salisbury and Ram that came out on top.
They had previously met in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and the final of the US Open, and here Salisbury and Ram capitalised on a fast start to win 6-1 7-6 (7-5).