Novak made a winning start to the Nitto ATP Finals at the Pala Alpitour.
World no.1 Novak Djokovic got his Turin season finale campaign off to a good start against Casper Ruud, with a 7:6 (4), 6:2 victory in his opening round-robin match on Monday.
The Serbian top seed defeated the Norway’s no.8 seed in one hour and 30 minutes and is now 2-0 in H2H meetings against the youngster from Oslo.
Novak got broken in the first game of the match, but regrouped quickly and found his rhythm to break back and level at 3-all. Djokovic failed to convert two break/set points at 5-4* but shortly afterwards he went on to win a tie-breaker 7-4, clinching the last two points on Ruud’s serve.
The five-time ATP Final champion sailed smoothly through the second set, breaking his rival twice, in the first and fifth games.
Match statistics: aces (10-9), double faults (0-4), winners (23-23), unforced errors (13-20), total points won (72-50).
Novak is pursuing his sixth trophy at the prestigious event.
Djokovic will play his second round robin match on Wednesday (14:00 CET) against fifth seed Andrey Rublev. It will be their first career meeting.
The Russian beat Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE, 4) 6-4, 6-4.
Each win in the group stage brings 200 ATP points.