Novak Djokovic clinched his 90th career title and fourth of 2022 with a dominant straight-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s ATP Finals in Astana. Djokovic, 35, triumphed 6-3, 6-4 in 75 minutes, adding the trophies he’d won at Israel, Rome and Wimbledon this season. It was the ninth straight match win for the fourth seed, who secured a spot at the 2022 ATP Finals with the win. “Actually, I dared to dream,” Djokovic replied when asked if he ever imagined winning 90 titles.
“I always hoped that I would have a great career. Of course, I didn’t know how many finals I would play, how many tournaments I would win, but my intention was always to reach the highest heights in our sport.”
The Serb won his first singles tournament a week ago in Tel Aviv since winning his seventh Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title in July.
He was banned from the US Open and the entire North American hard court is reverberating over his refusal to get vaccinated before returning to say goodbye to Roger Federer at the Laver Cup team event in London last month.
His absence increased his motivation, he agreed. “Well it has,” Djokovic said. “I couldn’t ask for a better start to the season. I’m super pumped up and motivated to finish the season as well as I’ve done over the past few weeks.”
For third-placed Tsitsipas, who had been bidding for a tenth career title, it was the ninth loss in as many ATP Tour 500 finals he has played in.
Djokovic got off to a flying start, winning the first service game in just over a minute.
With Tsitsipas serving when the score was 3-4, Djokovic got the only break point of the first set.
Djokovic earned another break in the fifth game of the second set when a drop shot from Tsitsipas netted.
The Serb turned his third match point into an open court with a backhand winner.
“I’m just really grateful and blessed to be able to play so well at this stage in my life,” Djokovic added.
“You know, 35 isn’t 25. But I think the experience in games like that and big occasions like that probably also helps to approach it in the right way mentally.”
Djokovic leads 8-2 against Tsitsipas in his meetings and has won the last seven duels.
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