At 35, Novak Djokovic ends his season in style. Ranked 8e best player in the world, the Serb did not tremble, Sunday, November 20, against number 2 Casper Ruud beaten 7-5, 6-3, in the final of the Masters. This makes him the oldest player to win this tournament featuring the eight best players of the season. With this sixth trophy, this collector of titles also equals Roger Federer’s record and pockets the biggest prize ever offered by the ATP in a tournament: 4.74 million dollars (4.58 million euros). It took him seven years, since his last victory at the Masters in 2015, to match Federer.
Djokovic started the match well by getting two break points on his opponent’s first serve. But the Norwegian held and at 2-1, the Serb ostensibly began to wince, raising fears of another physical slump, as he had experienced in his two previous games against Medvedev and Fritz.
Impeccable on his serve (not a single break point conceded in the match), Djokovic gradually regained his physique, his game and his clear and voluntary gaze: he obtained a new break point at 4-3, but did not failed to achieve it.
As often, however, he managed to raise his level of play on the important points and when he created a first set point on Ruud’s serve, it was the Norwegian who broke down in the exchange and left the Djoker win the first run.
A thwarted season for the Serb
As Zlatan Ibrahimovic looked on, Djokovic then took control of the match: he scored the first break of the game to lead 3-1 in the second set, playing increasingly superior tennis to Ruud’s.
Quietly, Djokovic came to serve for the match at 5-3 and concluded with an ace.
“It’s very satisfying and at the same time it’s a huge relief because of everything I’ve been through this year”, savored Djokovic. After Wimbledon, this is the second major title of the year for the Serb who missed a significant part of the season (including the Australian Open and the US Open) for his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid- 19. Ranked 8th at ATP during the tournament, the former number 1 will go up to 5e rank Monday.
For his part, Ruud lost his third grand final of the year, after Roland-Garros and the US Open. But at 23, 2022 will remain the best season of his career so far since he has reached the 2e ATP rank after Flushing Meadows and will be 3e Monday.