World No. 1, Novak Djokovic, won a record 7th ATP Finals title on Sunday, defeating Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-3 in Turin, Italy. Djokovic broke the tie of six ATP Finals wins held by him and Roger Federer. The win also ends one of the best year’s in men’s tennis history. The 36-year old won four of the five biggest titles on offer this season: the Australian Open, Roland Garros, US Open and the ATP Finals.
World No. 4 Sinner had beaten Djokovic earlier in the tournament in the Group Stage in three sets; 7-5, 6-7, 7-6. Unfortunately the 22-year old Italian couldn’t replicate his performance in the Finals, losing rather quickly in two sets. The match only lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes and was dominated from beginning to end by Djokovic.
Before playing Sinner in the Finals, Djokovic played young rival Carlos Alcatraz in the Semis. Much like Sinner, Djokovic had no trouble with Alcatraz, beating the Spanish pro in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.
The Group Stage of the tournament saw Djokovic battle it out with two more young talents in Hubert Hurkacz and Holger Rune. First he beat 8th place Rune in three sets 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 and then Hurkacz 7-6, 6-4, 6-1. Djokovic had nothing but high praise for the youngsters, calling them the next ‘big 3’ in tennis.
With the ATP Finals win Djokovic extended to a record 400th week as world No. 1 and got his eighth year-end No. 1 finish, also adding to his own record. Djokovic had a total record of 55-6 for 2023, making it one of his most successful seasons in his career. With no signs of slowing down it’s anyone’s guess how many more titles he’ll win before he decides to retire.
The Finals in Turin was one of the most anticipated matches this year with over 6.6 million people watching the tennis match in Italy alone. Djokovic got off to a good start, winning the opening breakpoint of the match when Sinner pulled a forehand wide. He then went on to win the first set in clinical fashion, dropping just two points on his own serve.
Djokovicdidn’t let up in the second set as he broke Sinner to love in the very first game. He then narrowly missed out on another break when he clipped the top of the net with a passing shot. It didn’t make much of a difference in the end as Djokovic took the set without much hassle. The match ended in a double fault that gave the Serbian legend his 7th ATP Finals title.
The big difference in the match was Djokovic’s dominance with his serve. He had 13 aces and won 91% of his first-serve points.
What’s Next for Djokovic?
Djokovic continues to dominate men’s world tennis and now holds 24 grand slam titles, the most in history. The only Grand Slam that the Serbian was not able to win this year was Wimbeldon which he lost to Carlos Alcatraz in the Finals. The five set match was extremely close and would have resulted in Djokovic holding all four Grand Slams in one calendar year.
Given his high standards, you can expect Djokovic to keep adding titles to his record next year. His next chance to win a title will be at the Australian Open in January. Djokovic has already won the tournament on 10 previous occasions, the most by any player.
It should be noted that the Paris Olympics will follow the French Open and Wimbledon next year. This will make the 2024 summer very congested for Djokovic, who may opt to sit out some of the smaller tournaments.