Novak Djokovic described Casper Ruud as a great youngster and congratulated the Norwegian on his great 2022 season. On Sunday, Djokovic beat Ruud 7-5 6-3 in the final of the ATP Finals. Ruud, 23, was playing in his first final at the ATP Finals.
For his part, Djokovic was playing his eighth final at the prestigious season-ending tournament. After stopping Ruud from winning his first ATP Finals title, Djokovic took a moment to acknowledge the Norwegian's breakout season.
In 2022, Ruud reached the finals of the French Open, US Open, Miami Masters and the ATP Finals, but was runner-up in each of those four grand finals. "I would like to return the favor and congratulate Casper and his team. What bad luck today.
I know how hard you are working and you are an inspiration to me and many players around the world. You have had a fantastic year. They are a great team. Very good people. Always respectful with everyone, with my team and with myself.
I know that somewhere inside you probably hoped you could win one of the three titles you competed for in the finals. But playing two Grand Slam finals and the biggest tournament on the ATP Tour is something really impressive.
And you're still young, you still have time. And I'm sure you're going to get big trophies very soon," Djokovic told Ruud. Following his last victory over Ruud, Djokovic is now 4-0 in his matchup with the Norwegian. In Turin, Djokovic continued his dominance against Ruud, as he now has four straight-set wins against the Norwegian.
Djokovic also defeated Ruud earlier this year to win the Rome Masters. In 2023, Ruud will probably get another chance against Djokovic. Meanwhile, Djokovic clinched five titles in 2022 and is now preparing for a well-earned break.
Tiley comments on Djokovic
The Australian Open 2023 promises to be explosive with the return of Novak Djokovic, finally authorized to apply for a visa. In remarks granted to The Age, the director of the first Grand Slam of the year, Craig Tiley, rubs his hands.
“A changing of the guard? I think this could be the year… I've been around long enough to know that the Australian Open is unearthing and discovering the greats of tomorrow. But if you look at Djokovic's form, you can say he is the best player in the world.
He is an incredible tennis player and it is here that he has won the most… He will be very keen not to let the young talents steal the title from him."