Novak Djokovic is closing out 2023 looking utterly untouchable, even apart from being the rising star of Italian tennis with his fevered home crowd behind him.
The 36-year-old Serbian will face the British Davis Cup team this week and looks more ominous than ever after beating Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-3 to win the ATP Tour Finals in Turin.
Cam Norrie will play him in singles in the quarter-finals of the team event on Thursday, at a time when the world number one looks better than ever. After crushing Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday evening, he did the same to the young man from the mountains of Tyrol, with his serve in particular being unplayable.
Djokovic walks away with £3.62 million from his week’s work, and his reputation continues to grow as he goes deeper into his 37th year.
Sinner had the guts to beat him in the group stage, but it soon became clear that this would be a task of a completely different order.
Novak Djokovic defeated Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-3 to win the ATP World Tour final again
Djokovic put in an impressive performance as he won the tournament for a record seventh time
Even at the age of 36, Djokovic continues to cement his reputation with more success
On the unusually fast surface used for this event, the Italian would have to control his aggression amid the feverish atmosphere, but it was the Serbian who brought his greater experience to bear.
Not only was the depth of his groundstrokes phenomenal, he backed it up with the laser-guided accuracy of his serve, making it impossible to get close to a break.
Everything went in a perfect rhythm and when he broke right at the beginning of the second set, the outcome seemed a foregone conclusion with fourteen consecutive points in favor of the champion.
However, a missed forehand pass that would have put him 3-0 ahead allowed Sinner to gain a foothold and amid frantic ball attacks, Djokovic slumped slightly from his peerless heights, having to fend off break points to secure a to avoid leveling at 3-3. . He broke again at the end for good measure to claim the title, as he fended off the late challenge.
Joe Salisbury was earlier thanked by his partner Rajeev Ram after the Anglo-American pair completed a triumphant end to their season by winning the ATP Finals doubles match.
After an average start to the season, they defended their title from a year ago and added it to the US Open by beating Marcel Granollers’ Spanish/Argentine team 6-3 6-4 in the final.
“We struggled a little bit at the beginning of the year and had a great last few months, so Joe, thanks for sticking with me and for all the memories we’re making,” Ram said after a relatively easy 68-minute win.
Salisbury won £386,000 as his share of the winnings and now heads to Malaga for Thursday’s clash with Serbia, in which he will partner Neal Skupski.
Despite the support of the home crowd in Turin, Sinner could not prevail
Joe Salisbury (left) and Rajeev Ram (right) achieved success in the double ATP Finals event