World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is off to a winning start at the ATP Finals in Turin, beating Casper Ruud 7-6, 6-2 in an hour and 30 minutes. Novak got broken in the encounter's opening game and endured a fall that went good for him.
The Serb played well behind the initial shot in the rest of the clash, and a debutant could follow that only in the opener, losing ground in set number two to propel Novak over the top. Thus, Djokovic earned the 39th ATP Finals victory, sharing second place with Ivan Lendl and trailing only to Roger Federer.
Novak dropped only 12 points behind the initial shot, facing that one break point in the encounter's opening game and securing three breaks from five opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets and move to the top of Group Green ahead of the evening's match.
Novak Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud in his first match in Turin.
Novak had the upper hand in the shortest and more advanced exchanges, taming his strokes nicely despite occasional errors and sailing towards the finish line in set number two.
Struggling to find the first serve, Djokovic lost serve in the encounter's first game, falling to the ground in the last point and handing his rival an early advantage. Ruud cemented the break with a service winner in game two and held at 30 two games later following Djokovic's loose forehand to open a 3-1 gap.
Finding his range, Novak fired an unreturned serve in the fifth game to reduce the deficit and broke back a few minutes later after Casper's double fault. The Norwegian fended off two set points in the tenth game (the second with an incredible forehand winner) to cause Novak's frustration, although the Serb stayed calm to introduce a tie break.
World no. 1 sprayed a forehand error in the fifth point to fall 3-2 behind before pulling the mini-break back and leveling the score at 4-4 with a forehand down the line winner. Djokovic painted another forehand winner at 6-4 to secure the opener in 6-1 minutes and gain a massive boost.
As was expected, Casper lost steam and got broken at the beginning of the second set to drift further from a positive result. Djokovic grabbed another break in game five and moved over the top with four service winners at 5-2 for a winning start and 200 points on his tally.