Novak Djokovic sends emphatic message to rivals ahead of last shot at ultimate goal
“He’s the best player in the world, no doubt,” Novak Djokovic reflected after his defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final four months ago. If the 36-year-old was setting himself a challenge, the past four months have shown how Djokovic responded: faced with a new rival at this stage of his career, Djokovic has risen again. He finishes the year as the undisputed World No 1, the best player in the world, and still the one to beat ahead of 2024.
On Sunday in Turin, Djokovic capped another dominant season by writing another record into the history books. His straight-sets victory over Jannik Sinner secured a seventh ATP Finals crown and added to victories at three of the four grand slams this year. It was only that five-set defeat to Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final, the one that got away, that denied a ‘grand slam’.
The ATP Finals ensured he finished with a flourish, and a symbolic one at that. After securing the year-end No 1 ranking at the start of the week, Djokovic admitted that he allowed his level to dip and the Serbian was left requiring some good fortune to even progress from the round-robin stage.
But the semi-finals and final presented Djokovic with an opportunity to deliver an emphatic message. He first crushed Alcaraz in two sublime sets, producing the most one-sided scoreline yet in what was the fifth match of their rivalry. Then faced with Sinner, the home favourite in Turin who defeated Djokovic in the group stages, the 36-year-old raised his level again. Watching on for Amazon Video, Tim Henman said Djokovic played “some of the best tennis I have ever seen” in the 6-3 6-3 win.
Djokovic defeat Italian Sinner in the ATP Finals title match
It is not a coincidence that Djokovic saved his peak for the