ATP Finals 2021, Turin: Five-time ATP Finals champion Novak Djokovic took down Casper Ruud 7-6(4), 6-2 to move to 1-0 in Green Group. Meanwhile, on the other side, Rublev stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas with a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Djokovic aiming for his sixth ATP Finals title.
Novak Djokovic will be on a high from his recent record-breaking 37th ATP Masters 1000 title in Paris. He had just one defeat in the four major championships at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, before losing to Daniil in the US Open finals.
Casper Rudd was the first to take the break when Djokovic found the net with a backhand after a tumble during the rally. Though, he recovered nicely to seal the first set which ran for 61 minutes.
World No. 1 is on a mission and with that mindset, he is nearly unstoppable. He served at 83% first-serve points in the second set to pocket the set also tieing Ivan Lendl for the second-most ATP Finals wins (39) below Federer who has 59.
The debutant was also impressive with his five titles this season, becoming the first Norwegian to enter the ATP Finals in 51 years.
Novak Djokovic on his fall: “I recovered from that fall on that breakpoint in that first game,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “It was very strange. I played a good forehand and came into the net and had a pretty comfortable overhead and I slipped, tripped, dropped my racquet, and lost my serve. The conditions here are quite tough. If you lose your serve, it is difficult to get it back. But I managed to stay in. I am very pleased with the way I handled the match.”
Novak on breaking Pete Sampras’s record: “It feels amazing. Obviously, it feels even better when you win a match and then you get your hands on that trophy that I’ve been blessed to lift seven times in my career,” Djokovic told the press on Monday. “One more than Pete Sampras, who was my childhood hero. He was the one that got me going with tennis. The first time that I’ve watched a tennis match was his  Wimbledon final…
“Fast forward to today, it’s quite amazing for me to be in this position. I’m pretty grateful.”
Rublev stuns Tsitsipas in opening encounter.
Andrey Rublev impressed all with his fantastic display against Stefanos Tsitsipas registering a 6-4, 6-4 victory to kickstart his ATP Finals journey.
Coming into this tournament, Rublev was struggling with form losing five matches of the last seven in recent weeks. Not facing a single breakpoint shout for itself how dominant he was.
The battle lasted for an hour and 30 minutes. The Russian service was on target with 90% first-serve points. With this strong first serve, Tsitsipas was unable to grow on a loose second serve.
“I think these are the moments that we are practicing for, that we are living for: to be here and to enjoy this atmosphere, to play great tennis and for the spectators to enjoy,” Rublev said in an on-court interview. “[All] I could do my best today, I did and I’m really happy.”
“When you serve good, it’s always the key,” Rublev said. “But it was not even just the serve. I was returning really aggressive, from the baseline I was also really aggressive. Today I played a great match and I’m really happy.”
The victory for Rublev ties Djokovic at the top of the Green Group, with each player level at a win apiece.