Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Casper Ruud faces intimidating stat in attempt to conquer Novak Djokovic

If it were not hard enough facing the world number one in Turin, Casper Ruud must also contend with this impressive Novak Djokovic stat.

The Norwegian is one of two debutants at this year’s ATP Finals, the other being Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.

Ruud faces five-time champion Djokovic in his first match ever at the event. The two have played just once before, in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters in 2020.

Djokovic won that day, something Ruud will be looking to reverse. However, the 22-year-old is up against both the man and his reputation in Turin.

In his 13 appearances at the tour Finals, Djokovic has lost his opening match just once. That came on his debut back in 2007, losing to David Ferrer in Shanghai, China.

Since then, the 34-year-old has won 12 consecutive opening matches at the ATP Finals every year from 2008 to 2020.

That is, excluding 2017 when the Serb did not qualify after being sidelined by injury.

Djokovic has a 38-16 career record at the ATP Finals, with five crowns from seven final appearances. He lost in the 2016 final to Andy Murray and the 2018 final to Alexander Zverev.

This year, Djokovic has the chance to overtake Ivan Lendl to claim second place for most career match wins at tour finals. Roger Federer is first with 59, Lendl second with 39 and Djokovic third with 38.

Finally, Djokovic can equal Federer for most tiles won at the event with six. The world number one is currently tied on five with Lendl and Pete Sampras.

After Ruud, he will face Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev to finish off the group stage. Rublev is the only current top 10 player that Djokovic has never played before.

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