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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday November 13, 2023

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic defeated Holger Rune and secured his position as the ATP's year-end No.1 on Sunday at the ATP Finals.

Photo Source: TTV

Holger Rune was playing lights out tennis in Turin on Sunday night, as forced Novak Djokovic to a third set in Sunday’s second singles match at the Nitto ATP Finals. Then the 24-time major champion shut the lights out on the young Dane.

Tennis Express

Djokovic came through the spirited affair, rallying for a 7-6(4), 6-7(1), 6-3 victory that secures his record eighth No-1 year-end finish and puts him in the Green Group driver’s seat as he pursues a record seventh title at the ATP Finals.

What did it take to get the win over his 20-year-old rival?

“It took everything,” he said. “I saw in the first game when he fired shots from the baseline in the first three, four points, I knew that it was going to be a tough night for me – if I wanted to win this match I was going to have to work really, really hard.

“I thought he played great. I played great at some moments, some moments I dropped the level, but overall a win is a win.”

With his triumph, Djokovic locks down the ATP’s year-end No.1 ranking for a record 8th time. He will begin his record 400th week at No.1 next week.

“It means a lot,” Djokovic said of the milestone. “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 to get that monkey off my back. I’ve won Paris which put me in a much better position rankings wise, and I knew that coming into Torino all I have to do is win one match – obviously a big goal has been achieved, everything else is a bonus.” The fifth meeting between Djokovic and Rune was a memorable one, stretching over the three-hour mark as both players rifled winners and rained down aces.

Rune was electric, cracking 49 winners including 18 aces, while Djokovic hit 36 winners against 22 unforced errors, and managed 10 aces.

With Djokovic angling for a straight sets win, Rune rolled through the second set tiebreak with aggressive tennis, racing out to a 6-0 lead before converting his second set point.

The Dane was quickly down a break in the third set, however, and despite the fact that he drew level in the next game for 1-2, Djokovic soon marched ahead, breaking a second time for 4-2 before he served out the match to love three games later, for his 47th ATP Finals win.

The 36-year-old improves to 10-3 in deciding sets in 2023, and 52-5 overall on the season.


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