Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Norway’s Casper Ruud is the only hurdle between Novak Djokovic and his record-equal sixth ATP Finals title after defeating former Serbian #1 American Taylor Fritz 7-6(5) 7-6(6) in the Turin semifinals.

The 21-time major champion overcame Fritz’s ace shower, outpacing the Indian Wells winner despite having a bad day in his opinion, and making fewer mistakes to advance in a win at Pala Alpitour that beat Roger Federer’s record. season final.

“I had to fight to survive,” said the 35-year-old. “I didn’t feel very reactive or very comfortable today… I’m very happy that I got over it because I don’t think it was one of my best days in tennis, but I managed to stay there.”

If Djokovic wins the final, he will receive the biggest prize in tennis history and pay $4,740,300 cash for lifting the tournament trophy undefeated. But first, he’ll have to tame Ruud, who confidently pushed aside error-prone Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 in the semi-finals.

Rublev quickly resolved by punching his turn in frustration after dropping his serve for the second time in the first set, adding to the pain when Ruud broke Rus again to open the second set.

It all looked like it was over as Ruud carried all the next three games, but Rublev caught his deadly forehand in game eight to break the two-time grand finalist. match with backhand winner.

“Sometimes it’s hard because things are obviously going great, but sometimes they can go almost too well,” Ruud said. “Andrey made some great turns, aggressive with the forehand… I wasn’t stressing too much. Everything was going well today.” Djokovic and Ruud will face each other in the final on Sunday.