Novak Djokovic gets instant revenge over Sinner to lift seventh ATP Finals title

Novak Djokovic got revenge over Jannik Sinner just five days after losing to the 22-year-old in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals. They faced a rematch in Sunday’s final where Djokovic was back to his dominant self, ruining the chance for a fairytale ending to Sinner’s week at home as he won 6-3 6-3. It marks Djokovic’s seventh title at the ATP Finals, breaking the record of six that he previously shared with Roger Federer.

Djokovic and Sinner stepped out for the last official final of the 2023 ATP season under unique circumstances – they were facing off for the second time this week. The home hope took to the court for the biggest final of his career with his trademark Gucci bag slung across his shoulder before Djokovic followed, looking for a record-extending seventh title at the tournament.

The chants of “ole Sinner” started before the match began, with the crowd backing their man during the warm-up. But the world No 4 was in trouble early on when he lost three points in a row after leading 40-15 to face the first break point of the match. And Sinner sent a forehand wide to hand Djokovic the advantage.

The 22-year-old looked like a different player compared to the one who ended Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak on Tuesday as he threw in some erratic errors and looked fatigued following a long week. The Italian fans started chanting again as the world No 1 stepped up to serve for the set, hoping they could push Sinner to break and keep himself alive.

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But it was no use as Djokovic closed it out to love with just 38 minutes on the clock after dominating in his service games, dropping just two points and firing down seven aces. There was nothing Sinner could do as the 36-year-old refused to miss and started to hurtle towards the finish line when he immediately broke to love to start the second set.

Djokovic proved relentless as he went on a streak of winning 14 points in a row, ending when Sinner served at 0-2 0-30 down. The Italian still found himself dragged into a dogfight of a game, saving three break points to get himself on the board. Djokovic was in some trouble for the first time at 3-2 as Sinner finally had break point chances after a couple of mistakes from the Serb.

But he very quickly shut the door and refused to let Sinner back in the match, relying on some huge serves to get him out of hot water. It was a similar story to Djokovic’s semi-final against Carlos Alcaraz on Saturday night when the Spaniard suddenly sprung into life with some break-back points in the middle of the second set.

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The world No 1 saved them and didn’t lose another game for the rest of the match. And he looked to do the same against Sinner. It took more than 15 minutes but the 22-year-old was able to hold on, waving his arm in the air to incite more cheers after saving two break points. 

After a massive hold, Sinner had a small opening in the next game when he took a 0-30 lead and dragged Djokovic to deuce as the world No 1’s level dropped. But the fourth seed still couldn’t do anything as the Serb put himself within a game of the title.

And he didn’t even need to serve for the title himself as a Sinner double fault handed Djokovic a historic seventh crown at the season-ending championships. The world No 1 still has the Davis Cup for Serbia next week but ends his regular ATP season with seven titles and just six losses all year.

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