Novak Djokovic began his attempt to equal Roger Federer’s record number of ATP Finals triumphs with a straight-sets 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 win over Casper Ruud on Monday.
World number one Djokovic is looking to complete a remarkable year with a sixth Finals title after only just missing out on claiming all four Grand Slams, and got off to a strong start against eighth seed Ruud, winning in .
He sits top of the Green Group ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ clash with Andrey Rublev in Monday’s evening session in Turin.
Norwegian Ruud, playing his first ever match at the finals against one of the game’s greatest ever, played creditably and could easily have taken a one-set lead.
The 22-year-old came out firing by breaking Djokovic in the very first game, but by game seven the Serb was in front 4-3 and looked well placed to take the first set.
Djokovic arrived at game 10 with his one-game lead intact and the match apparently turning in his favour but Ruud saved two break points to hold his serve and eventually take the set to a tie-break.
Ruud held a 4-3 advantage but Djokovic turned up the pressure by winning four straight games to claim the first set, and from there he raced clear.
Djokovic immediately broke Ruud at the start of the second set and from there he strolled to victory, breaking one more time to claim the second set and the match.