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Djokovic vs Ruud: head-to-head, quotes, stats, all you need to know ahead of Sunday’s final at the ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud are set to face off for the Nitto ATP Finals title on Sunday in Turin. Head-to-head, quotes, stats: here is our guide

Casper Ruud and Novak Djokovic 2022 Rome Another marathon match for Djokovic on clay but hey, at least he was getting all the reps he needed before the French Open. This time, it took Novak two hours and 10 minutes to fend off another surprise player in Norwegian Casper Ruud.
Nitto ATP Finals •Final • completed
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The stage is set for a colossal final in Turin on Sunday as Novak Djokovic will battle Casper Ruud for the ATP’s final title of 2022. Djokovic defeated Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 7-6(6) on Saturday, while Ruud took out Andrey Rublev, 6-2, 6-4 to set this heavily anticipated clash.

Join us for a closer look at the matchup ahead of the pair’s fourth meeting…

Head-to-Head: Djokovic leads 3-0

Like so many of Novak Djokovic’s scorecards, this one is decidedly clean: 3-0. The 21-time major champion has had the upper hand on Ruud since their first meeting and he has not surrendered a single set in three previous meetings with Ruud.

  • 2020 Rome semi-final: Djokovic d. Ruud 7-5, 6-3
  • 2021 ATP Finals, round robin: Djokovic d. Ruud 7-6(4), 6-2
  • 2022 Rome semi-final: Djokovic d. Ruud 6-4, 6-3

The good news for Ruud is that his best set has come on indoor hard court against Djokovic. He made it to a tiebreak last year in Turin, but still lost in straight sets. Ruud actually led 4-3 in the tiebreak during that encounter, but learned first-hand how dangerous the Serb could be when cornered.

“I had 4-3 in the tiebreak, not the biggest chance in my life, but still some chances here and there,” he said at the time. “Then he steps up and plays four very good points. That pretty much sums up the first set.”

If you’re scoring at home, Djokovic is 19-5 in tiebreaks in 2022; Ruud is 26-13.

What does Ruud think of the Djokovic challenge (he’s human)?

Ruud has never taken a set from Djokovic, and he considers himself the underdog on Sunday – no surprise. At times it is easy to believe that the 21-time major champion is unbeatable, but Ruud says that Djokovic is human, just like him.

“He’s a player that doesn’t have many weaknesses at all,” he said. “But you know, he’s human. He’s had a great year, even though he’s been unfortunate with everything that has been going on for him, but he is human –  he lost two weeks ago to Rune in the [Paris Masters] finals, so it’s not like he plays these finals every day of his career and in his life.”

Casper Ruud 2022 ATP Finals Turin
Casper Ruud 2022 ATP Finals Turin ||

The Norwegian believes that there will be pressure on Djokovic to perform on the final day of the season. Even though he has 90 titles under his belt, not even the potential GOAT is immune from the nerves that come with playing on Sunday.

“I’m sure he will also feel a little bit of pressure,” fourth-Ruud said on Saturday. “There’s a lot on the line. Let’s see, ranking-wise I’m maybe ahead of him, but I feel like the underdog. He has won this tournament five times and I’ve seen them all on TV, how great he has played.”

Watching Djokovic struggle physically during his three hour and ten-minute victory over Medvedev on Friday has clearly caught the attention of Ruud as well. He knows that fatigue is creeping in on Djokovic, as he prepares to play his third match in three days, and he’ll use it as motivation to push the legend as much as he can.

“Like I said he doesn’t really have any weaknesses, but he’s played a little bit more tennis than I have,” he said. “I’m not sure if he will feel tired, probably not, but this is the perfect way for me to going into the final – I hope I can save some of this great tennis for tomorrow and see what happens.”

Djokovic and Ruud – where will they be ranked on Monday?

Ruud has a chance to return to the top-2 on Monday, if he can defeat Djokovic for the first time. If he fails to win the final, he will finish the season at No 3 – his best year-end ranking by far (previous high: No 8).

Djokovic will make his return to the top-5 no matter what happens on Sunday. The former world No 1 (for 373 weeks!) dropped out of the top-5 on July 11.

Novak Djokovic celebration ATP Finals match 1
AI / Reuters / Panoramic

What’s at stake?

Djokovic is bidding to tie Roger Federer’s all-time record for Nitto ATP Finals titles with six. The 35-year-old will take home the biggest prize purse in ATP history (US$ 4,740,300) if he completes the title as an undefeated winner.

If Djokovic wins he would pass Federer for most prize money won at the ATP Finals ($19,133,000 vs $16,367,000) all-time.

Djokovic is bidding for his 91st ATP title, and his fifth of 2022. He would become the oldest champion in Nitto ATP Finals history if he wins, passing Roger Federer, who was 30 when he won the title in 2011.

Ruud is bidding for his fourth title of 2022 and his tenth overall. If he wins he could claim the biggest title of his career, and his first above 250-level.

Where can you watch Djokovic v Ruud live?

The different broadcast channels of the biggest tennis tournaments at the time of writing this article:

Australian Open: Eurosport
Roland-Garros: France TV, Amazon Prime
Wimbledon: Bein Sports
US Open: Eurosport
Masters: Eurosport, Tennis TV
Masters 1000: Eurosport, Tennis TV

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