Novak Djokovic showed no mercy to Jannik Sinner, defeating him 6-3, 6-3 to claim the title at the 2023 ATP Finals. The Serbian secures the title for the 7th time in his career, surpassing Roger Federer in the all-time record of Finals champions.
World No. 1 and world No. 4 had previously faced each other in the round-robin stage. With an evenly matched encounter that ended in favor of the Italian young star, 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2). With this result, the head-to-head record stands at 3-1, and both advanced to the semifinals in the ATP Finals. Overcoming their respective challenges against Alcaraz and Medvedev and setting up a rematch just five days after their last meeting.
The first set was marked by Djokovic's incredible service, winning 91% of points with his serve, leaving Sinner with limited opportunities for returns. Djokovic also neutralized Sinner's serves, winning 40% of return points. The only break of the set came in the fourth game, where Djokovic seized the first opportunity to take a 3-1 lead. Despite the lone break point, Djokovic managed to create difficulties for Sinner on his service points, winning 12 of the last 13 points with his serve and closing the set 6-3.
The second set began with Djokovic securing an early break in the first game. The world No. 1 won the first 10 points of the set, taking a 2-0 lead. However, Sinner staged a comeback, saving three break points in the third game to avoid falling behind by two breaks. In the sixth game, Sinner had his first two break points in an attempt to level the score, but he couldn't capitalize, and Djokovic ensured a 4-2 advantage.
The seventh game was the most thrilling of the match, lasting over 15 minutes, with Sinner ultimately prevailing on his serve to stay in the match. In the following game, Sinner had opportunities, starting 0-30 and committing several unforced errors in a shaky performance from both players. Finally, Sinner couldn't get the break he needed to level the match, and 'Nole' secured the break in the next game after a double fault from the 22-year-old Italian. With that, Djokovic took the set 6-3, extending his reign at the ATP Finals.
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With this victory, Djokovic sets a record for the most titles in the year-end tournament with 7 trophies, surpassing Roger Federer with 6 and Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl with 5 each. Djokovic finishes the year as the undisputed world No. 1, having won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the ATP Finals in what has been one of the best seasons of his career.
Although the points race is over, Djokovic faces one last year-end challenge in the Davis Cup Finals, defending for Team Serbia, who will debut against Great Britain on November 23 in Malaga for the quarterfinals. Jannik Sinner will also be present with the Italian team, set to face the Netherlands. If both Italy and Serbia advance, Sinner and Djokovic could potentially face each other again in less than a week.