Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud of Norway emerged victorious Saturday to advance to the title match of the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy.
Ruud defeated Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 in 68 minutes while Djokovic took down Taylor Fritz 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) in one hour, 54 minutes.
Djokovic is gunning for his sixth ATP Finals crown while Ruud seeks his first.
“He’s played a little bit more tennis than I have,” Ruud said. “I don’t know if he will feel tired — probably not. But this is the perfect way for me to go into the final. I hope I can save some of this great tennis for tomorrow and see what happens.”
Djokovic admitted to having “heavy legs” during his match with Fritz.
“I would love to, of course, win the trophy, but I’m not going to be the only player who is going to want that on the court,” Djokovic said afterward. “Hopefully I’ll be able to play at the level that I’ve played most of the matches this week and get a trophy.”
Ruud earned his second win over Rublev in five head-to-head meetings. He did it by hitting 20 winners against eight unforced errors. Rublev, meanwhile, recorded 23 unforced errors.
“I got a couple of good beatings from Andrey, so it was nice to sort of get revenge from that,” said Ruud. “And we haven’t played since here last year. I’m not going to get ahead of myself, but I guess I have a good thing going against him in Turin.”
Ruud is the first Scandinavian to compete for the ATP Finals title since Stefan Edberg in 1990.
With a win, Djokovic would tie Federer with sixth ATP Finals titles. He’d also become the oldest champ of the season finale.
“I was looking forward to being in this position,” Djokovic said. “I’m very happy to be able to compete for another big trophy, one of the biggest ones that we have in our sport.”
–Field Level Media