Incredible Novak Djokovic seals record-breaking 7th ATP Finals title

Andy Watson in ATP Tour 20 Nov 2023
2T746WM Turin, Italy. 13 November 2023. Novak Djokovic of Serbia lifts the year-end ATP No. 1 trophy presented to him during day two of the Nitto ATP Finals. Credit: Nicolo Campo/Alamy Live News

The records keep tumbling for Novak Djokovic as he defeated home hope Jannik Sinner to claim his seventh year-end finals crown, now standing alone as the player with the most year-end finals titles in history.

It wasn’t completely plain sailing for the world number one as he had to save break points in the second set to prevent a potential late siege from the Italian #1, but Djokovic once again demonstrated his complete mastery of the sport.

The scoreline of 6-3 6-3 was worlds away from the 5-7 7-6 6-7 defeat suffered by the Serbian in the group stages, but also illustrated just how  much the circumstances of a match matter, and how Djokovic can improve during the course of a tournament.

Deep groundstrokes and great serving the keys to victory for Djokovic

The big difference between group stage Djokovic and finals Djokovic were, mainly, two-fold. Yes, his movement had caught up with the pace of the court, which also massively helped, but from his racket, the great champion didn’t give his opponent any chance to get into the match.

Djokovic’s serving was so accurate. 85% of his serves bounced within a foot of the service box lines, he hit 13 aces to Sinner’s 8, with 0 double faults, and won 91% of the points behind a 70% first serve percentage. Serving like this gives your opponent very little chance of gaining a foothold in the match, and so it proved when Sinner was unable to hold onto his serve in the fourth game, there was no chance of a reprieve.

The depth on Djokovic’s groundstrokes meant that he dominated most of the rallies as well, Sinner was unable to gain parity and get short balls from Djokovic to take the upper hand in most rallies.

Defeat, but a positive tournament for Sinner

The world #4 should be pleased with his efforts this week. There were many who genuinely thought that he could win the final, based on his displays, not only this week, but in the build-up to the tournament as well.

The next step for the Italian is surely a deep run at a Grand Slam event. He will be seeded in the top four for the first time in Australia, this gives him a better chance of avoiding the big guns until the semi-final stage at least.

How many more records can Djokovic break?

The tennis record books are almost filled to the brim with Novak Djokovic. He can still aim for Jimmy Connors’ all-time ATP Tour titles record of 109, Djokovic currently sits at 98. Connors also holds the record for match wins on tour with 1274, Djokovic is on 1084, however, Djokovic stands alone in most of the records that matter.