Home Sports Tennis Djokovic slams Rune to claim record 8th year-end No. 1 ranking

Djokovic slams Rune to claim record 8th year-end No. 1 ranking

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Djokovic slams Rune to claim record 8th year-end No. 1 ranking

Securing a year-end world No. 1 rating for an unprecedented eighth time, Novak Djokovic emerged victorious in his ATP Finals opening match on Sunday, defeating Holger Rune 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (1/7), 6-3.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion wanted only one win or a defeat for younger rival Carlos Alcaraz to safe the highest spot within the ATP rankings for 2023 and prevailed in a three-hour Green Group conflict with spirited debutant Rune.

Djokovic, on a run of 19 straight wins, has had an age-defying yr, profitable three Slams to change into the all-time report winner of main titles.

The 36-year-old got here into the Finals in Turin off the again of his seventh triumph on the Paris Masters, his fortieth victory at a Masters 100 occasion.

Those are two extra information so as to add to an extended and rising checklist for Djokovic, who’s searching a seventh Finals title, which might take him one forward of retired nice Roger Federer.

“It means a lot. You could see that there were a lot of emotions on the court,” mentioned Djokovic.

“I could feel it; I was very eager to win the match and get that monkey off my back … Obviously, a big objective and a big goal have been achieved; everything else now is a bonus.”

Djokovic seemed on target for victory when he took a brutal opening set in decisive style, prevailing within the tie-break with a shocking cross-court return winner.

And the match seemed to have turned decisively within the third recreation of the second set, when after Rune gained the primary two, Djokovic broke again in a superb 11-point recreation and ultimately gained the third try.

Rune saved plugging away, nevertheless, and after the pair slugged one another with greater and larger hits, Djokovic slipped within the tie-break, lacking a easy volley to attract degree on the second level after which collapsing to concede the set.

But after briefly dropping it by permitting Rune to interrupt again in recreation three of the third set, kicking his rackets in a rage, Djokovic composed himself and noticed out a historic win.

“I found a way to win today against an opponent who played brilliantly … he had a lot of courage today,” added Djokovic in Italian.

“If I want to keep up with these youngsters, I’m going to have to work even harder!”

Sinner off the mark

Home hope Jannik Sinner obtained off to a near-perfect begin by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight units, 6-4, 6-4, delighting the group in Italy’s northwest.

Sinner has had the perfect season of his profession to this point, profitable 4 tournaments, and is ready to change into the primary Italian ever to complete a season within the ATP prime 5.

The 22-year-old comfortably handled 2019 champion Tsitsipas in entrance of an enthusiastic crowd, not dropping a service recreation nor going through a break level in the entire match.

“The atmosphere was really, really nice. It is a huge pleasure for me to play here in Turin, in Italy,” Sinner instructed reporters.

“Obviously a little bit more pressure, but I managed it really well today, so I’m happy.”

Afterward, Greek Tsitsipas denied he had any bodily issues, despite the fact that he seemed method under his greatest, telling reporters “I’m healthy. I’m ready to compete.”

The 25-year-old needed to play down experiences of an elbow harm, which curtailed apply forward of his event opener.

“I’m absolutely fine, and I am ready to play this tournament. Turin is one of the most important events of the year for me,” he mentioned.

On Monday, Alcaraz made his ATP Finals debut within the Red Group towards Alexander Zverev, the second-seeded Djokovic’s closest challenger.

However, the Wimbledon champion is in unsure type after being dumped out of the Paris Masters by Russian qualifier Roman Safiullin following his return from an harm layoff.

The Spaniard hadn’t performed because the Shanghai Masters in early October attributable to decrease again and left foot issues.

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