As the stakes increase, Novak Djokovic’s performance also rises. This has consistently been a crucial factor in his success, as he has repeatedly dominated in major tournaments. This was once again evident during his victorious week in Turin.
After a thrilling three-hour match in the round-robin battle, Jannik Sinner lost to Djokovic, who later went on to win the ATP Finals title by showcasing an exceptional level of play that Sinner could not keep up with. This victory came five days after their initial encounter where Sinner had played exceptionally well to defeat Djokovic.
Djokovic’s career is filled with numerous accomplishments, including setting new records. With his latest win at the ATP Finals, he has now claimed seven titles, surpassing Roger Federer. He is also closing in on a personal milestone of 98 titles, a feat previously accomplished by only Jimmy Connors (109) and Federer (103) in men’s tennis. On Monday, Djokovic will mark his 400th week as the world’s number one player, a whopping 90 weeks ahead of second-place Federer.
During this season, Djokovic has consistently emphasized that his focus was on the most important tournaments. He has stayed true to this philosophy by winning four out of the five major titles this year – the Australian Open, French Open, US Open, and ATP Finals – with only a remarkable showing from Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon preventing him from achieving a clean sweep. He concludes the ATP season with seven titles and an impressive record of 55 wins and 6 losses.
Djokovic advanced to the final with an impressive showing against rising star Alcaraz in the semi-finals, winning in dominant fashion and conceding only five games. Just one day later, Djokovic resumed his strong play from the previous match.
Sinner’s serve has received a lot of well-deserved recognition in recent months, especially this week, due to his impressive improvements. However, Djokovic’s serve was the standout in their match, showcasing how it has evolved over the years. He served flawlessly, delivering seven aces in the first set and only allowing two points on his serve against one of the top returners. This continued until he had a 6-3, 3-2 lead.
In the same manner, Sinner is renowned for being one of the most powerful and precise hitters in the tennis world. On the other hand, Djokovic is often seen as a defensive player, but in the current match he began with a strong display of forehands, a notable change in his playing style as he nears the end of his career. By the fourth game, Djokovic had already secured a crucial break and his average forehand speed was measured at 86mph, compared to Sinner’s 74mph. Djokovic dominated his opponent with deep shots, precise changes in direction, and an unrelenting, accurate strike of the ball.
How do you handle a situation where the greatest returner and defender in history is also outperforming you in serving and hitting? As Djokovic’s gameplay excelled towards the end of the first set, he went on a streak of winning 14 consecutive points and secured a set and a break advantage as he aimed for a second break.
However, Sinner put up a strong fight. Despite being down 0-2 and facing a 0-30 deficit on his serve, Sinner displayed incredible resilience in saving another break point during a lengthy deuce game, managing to remain in the match. Shortly after, Djokovic answered back with three powerful aces, an untouchable serve, and easily holding his serve in just one minute.
He missed opportunities to score on Sinner’s service games, causing tension in the last few games. Djokovic was behind 15-40 and 0-30 in consecutive games, but he calmly regained control and maintained his lead on his way to another important victory.
Sinner has had an amazing week, solidifying his position among his fellow players. He has demonstrated continuous growth as a well-rounded player, displaying mental fortitude and establishing himself as a top contender for major tournaments.
It is a challenge for up-and-coming players to keep up with Djokovic, who continues to improve even at age 36. His dedication to honing his skills and evolving as a player, despite his past successes, is remarkable. As a result, Djokovic continues to dominate in major tournaments and very few players have been able to pose a threat to him.
In the meantime, Joe Salisbury from Britain and Rajeev Ram from the US were victorious in their match against Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers, successfully defending their doubles title at the ATP Finals.