Impressive Novak clinched record-extending eighth year-end no.1 finish!
The 2023 Nitto ATP Finals kicked off on Sunday at Pala Apitour in Turin.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated eighth seed Holger Rune 7-6 (4), 6-7 (1), 6-3 to start his title defence campaign in perfect fashion.
There were many high-quality moments during the fantastic battle that lasted three hours and four minutes.
The two great players split the first two sets, both decided by tie-breaks. In the third set, Novak broke his opponent early, but let the 2-0 lead slip. However, the top seed maintained his focus to capitalise on his fourth break of the match in the sixth game and kept the advantage to seal the victory.
With the triumph, Novak secured the ATP Year-End No.1 honour for a record eighth time. With this outstanding accomplishment, the Serbian star will enjoy his record 400th week atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on November 20.
“It means a lot,” said Djokovic. “You could see there were a lot of emotions on the court. I could feel it. I was very eager to win tonight’s match, get that monkey off my back. I won Paris, which put me in a much better position rankings-wise, and I knew coming into Turin I only needed to win one match. A big goal is achieved, everything else now is a bonus.”
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “Becoming year-end No. 1 is an incredible accomplishment. To achieve it eight times is absolutely extraordinary. Novak continues to set the standard in tennis, and his passion and drive make him a true champion. There’s no doubt that more greatness and records lie ahead in his journey.”
Novak, who has won the season finale event six times, faces no.4 seed Jannik Sinner in the Green Group on Tuesday at 21:00 CET.
The Italian beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE, 6) in the opening singles match of the day.