Novak Djokovic began his attempt to equal Roger Federer’s record number of ATP Finals triumphs with a straight-sets 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win over Casper Ruud on Monday.
World number one Djokovic is looking to complete a remarkable year with a sixth Finals title after only just missing out on claiming all four Grand Slams in a single season, and got off to a strong start against eighth seed Ruud, winning in around 90 minutes.
He sits top of the Green Group ahead of Andrey Rublev, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets, and is looking to cap a memorable season that sees him close as the top-ranked player for a record seventh time.
Djokovic attracted wild applause from the Turin crowd when he insisted on speaking in Italian for his on-court interview after the match, before which he was honoured once again for being the world’s top player.
“It’s a great feeling being back here in Italy… thanks for all your support over these years, Italy is like a second home for me,” Djokovic said.
“It’s one of the most difficult things to do in our sport, to finish number one at the end of the year you have to play really well, consistently and with a lot of success…