Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud has nothing but a great level of respect for Novak Djokovic as he says the Serb is still one of the best in the game. Djokovic, a 21-time Grand Slam champion, experienced the most challenging season of his career this year as he was denied participation in two Grand Slam and four Masters tournaments.
In a limited number of Major tournaments played, Djokovic was able to win his 21st Grand Slam at Wimbledon. This indoor season, Djokovic has made three finals so far and has won two titles. Now, Djokovic is aiming to win his fifth title of the year at the ATP Finals in Turin.
Ruud, who made two Grand Slam finals this year, underlined that Djokovic is definitely the top favorite at the ATP Finals.
Ruud on Djokovic: He is still the man
“I think tennis-wise he's played great. He's just been very unfortunate with the situation and how things have played out due to points, not being able to enter many countries, which has hurt him a lot on the rankings.
But to me he will always be one of the best, if not the best player out there and always the favourite in pretty much every tournament he shows up to. I think he has shown that this year; he won Wimbledon, he won these two tournaments a couple of weeks ago, and in Rome.
Tennis wise, I think he has done great only playing, I don't know, eight, nine tournaments. He's close to top five in the world. Let's see how next year plays out. I hope that he can be able to enter these countries again and that he can play a full year.
In my eyes, he's pretty much always a favourite to win, except for maybe Roland Garros where the King Rafa is always going to be the favourite there. But on hard courts, grass, he's always up there being one of the favourites to win the tournaments and he said he wants to show the young guys that he's still there, he's still present," Ruud said on Ruud Talk, per Eurosport.
Djokovic is aiming to win his sixth ATP Finals title, while Ruud is hoping to land his first title at the prestigious season-ending tournament. Last year, Ruud made the semifinal in his ATP Finals debut.