TURIN, Italy – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will attempt to win the ATP Finals for the seventh time when he faces crowd favorite Jannik Sinner in the final of the prestigious end-of-season tournament in Turin, Italy.
By winning the final, Đoković will set a record for the number of titles in this tournament. He and Roger Federer are tied with six triumphs.
On Saturday, the Serbian defeated Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals in less than 90 minutes, winning 6-3, 6-2 in a duel between the two best-ranked players in the world.
Earlier in the day, Sinner won his match against Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-1. Sinner is the first Italian to reach the finals of this tournament.
Sinner defeated Djokovic in the group stage earlier this week, for the first time in his career. And the Serb will again have to negotiate with a passionate and biased audience.
“He plays incredible tennis, probably the best ever,” Djokovic said. The other day we played a very close game. The atmosphere was extraordinary. I expect nothing less from the final, with the fact that the audience will probably be even more noisy.
“It’s the final. I’ve been in this situation many times before. I’m very happy with the feelings I feel and the way I play. I hope I can give the best game tomorrow. »
On Saturday in Turin, Djokovic was given a lot of encouragement by the spectators, and many chanted his name between points.
Alcaraz and Djokovic had met four times this season before Saturday’s match, each winning twice. The Serbian won her last match, in the final in Cincinnati in August. Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in the Wimbledon final to win his second major tournament.
“I approached the match with the right attitude, the right mentality, and I knew from the first point that it would be very intense,” Djokovic said. He won break points in the first game, with the score 15-40. »
Djokovic has won his last 15 matches after winning the first set. The trend didn’t seem ready to change when he quickly broke Alcaraz’s serve in the second set.
In the sixth game of the second set, Alcaraz had a chance to return the match to an even serve, but Đoković saved two break points.
If the Spaniard did not take advantage of his opportunity, Đoković did not miss the opportunity and in the very next game took away his opponent’s serve, and then concluded everything on his own serve.
Sinner has won all four matches so far in the tournament, including the match against Sunday’s opponent in the final.
The Italian received great support from the fans present in Turin from the start of the tournament.
“It’s a privilege to have that kind of pressure,” Sinner said. The audience gave me so much energy.
“It was a very difficult match. He started better than me, but somehow I managed to break his serve and that helped me. »
Sinner is fourth in the world rankings, which is the best ranking by an Italian since Adriano Panatta, almost half a century ago.
His win against Medvedev also made him the Italian with the most wins against members of the top-5 (10), surpassing Panatta’s record.
Before last month, Medvedev won all six duels between the two athletes. Sinner’s first victories were against Medvedev in the finals of tournaments in China and Vienna.