TURIN, Italy. Novak Djokovic captured a record-breaking sixth ATP Finals title by beating third-place Kasper Ruud on Sunday in a fantastic end to the Serb’s season.

Djokovic won 7-5, 6-3, claiming his first tournament title since 2015 and equaling Roger Federer’s record.

- Advertisement -

Djokovic, 35, who had lost the previous two finals at the tournament, raised his hands and smiled broadly as he ended the match with an ace.

- Advertisement -

“Seven years is a long time,” Djokovic said. “At the same time, the fact that I have been waiting for seven years makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger.

- Advertisement -

“A lot of nerves… I missed a couple of right hands in the last game when I served. I had nerves, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve the match. I had a big ace to close out.”

Djokovic became the oldest champion of the prestigious tournament at the end of the year, and also earned the biggest purse in tennis history, earning $4.7 million for taking the ATP Finals trophy undefeated.

“I made him run, I made him play,” Djokovic said. “I wanted to be very aggressive and that worked out great. I am very pleased with my performance.”

It was Ruud’s fourth loss in a major championship match this year after losing the finals to Miami, Roland Garros and the US Open. Ruud has never won a set against Djokovic in four meetings.

“In the end, it was very disappointing to lose those big finals,” Ruud said. January of this year, I probably would have immediately signed a contract. There is no doubt about this.

“It gives me motivation and a thirst so maybe next time – if I ever get to another final like this – I hope I can learn from what I did this year and failed to do, and see how it goes.” ‘

Djokovic got off to a strong start in Turin and scored two break points on Ruud’s first serve. The Norwegian managed to recover, although he was also forced to save another break point in the eighth game.

Djokovic finally interrupted Ruud’s serve for the fourth time. And it was at the decisive moment, at set point, and the Serb was enthusiastically swinging his fist in the air after Ruud sent a long backhand.

No. 7 Djokovic broke down again in the fourth game of the second set, and there was no turning back for Ruud.

Djokovic finished the year 18-1, winning trophies in Tel Aviv and Astana before reaching the Paris Masters final. His five titles this season also include triumphs at Wimbledon and Rome.

And his coach, former runner-up Goran Ivanisevic, issued a stern warning to Djokovic’s rivals.

“He trains even harder than he did when he was 22,” Ivanisevic said. “That’s why he’s still so good, and that’s why he’s still going to be even better.”