ATP Finals 2021: Novak Djokovic vs. Casper Ruud Tennis Pick and Prediction
dCredit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

ATP Finals 2021: Novak Djokovic vs. Casper Ruud Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2021 ATP Finals as Novak Djokovic takes on Casper Ruud in the Round Robin stage on Monday, November 15th, 2021.

Will Novak Djokovic win? Or will Casper Ruud throw a spanner in the works on his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals? The good thing about the season-ending finale is that there are no dud matches. This should be a tough test for the top seed against one of the ATP tour’s rising stars.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic could chalk more records this week. Djokovic has already locked the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record seventh time – surpassing his childhood hero Pete Sampras. He also arrives in Turin on the back of a 37th Masters 1000 title success in Paris. That was his sixth title in Bercy – extending his record at the event. He could tie Roger Federer’s record of six titles at the ATP Finals if he is successful this week. 2021 has been another impressive season in his illustrious career. His shrewdness to play only the important tournaments has served him nicely. Bar the Monte Caro exit in the Round of 16, Djokovic has made at least the semifinals or better at the other nine tournaments he has played this season. With a 48-6 record for the year, he is the most successful player in the singles field this week with five titles. And he remains the last player to defend the ATP Finals crown. Can he make a winning start against Casper Ruud?

Norway might be a non-entity in tennis, but Casper Ruud is slowly putting it on the tennis map. The World No. 8 is the highest-ranked Norwegian – male or female – in tennis history. Ironically, beyond Ruud, the other higher-ranked player from Norway was Ruud’s father, Christian, who peaked at No. 39 in 1995. Ruud’s breakout season has yielded five ATP tour titles – all at 250 level. He memorably won three successive titles during the brief European clay-court swing after Wimbledon. The points earned in Bastad, Gstaad, and Kitzbuhel forced him into the ATP Race reckoning. After holding his nerve in a hair-raising few weeks at the end of the regular season, he was able to secure his place in Turin for his maiden appearance at the ATP Finals. Can he upstage the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic?

Novak Djokovic holds a 1-0 record over Casper Ruud in previous head-to-head meetings. That match was played in last season’s Rome Masters, where the Serbian World No. 1 won in straight sets. We expected a tetchy Novak Djokovic to show up in Paris last week. After a near two-months break, the US Open final scar was still fresh. But Djokovic is not one to linger on missed opportunities. Without even needing to drag himself into another gear, he won his 37th Masters 1000 title. And I think that could be bad news for Casper Ruud on Monday. Djokovic has not lost an opening match at the ATP Finals since 2007 and I don’t expect that to change.

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Novak Djokovic in two tight sets.

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