Watch: Zlatan Ibrahimovic greets Novak Djokovic after Serb's 2022 ATP Finals win in Turin

BNP Paribas Masters - Day Six
Ibrahimovic greets Djokovic after latter's ATPF win.

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic greeted Novak Djokovic in the immediate aftermath of the latter's ATP Finals win over Casper Ruud in Turin on Sunday.

Ibrahimovic was one of many high-profile athletes and celebrities at the Pala Aliptour to watch the former World No. 1 in action. Following the match, the two had a warm embrace, shared a few pleasantries, and clicked photographs.

Djokovic, 35, put on a tennis masterclass in his eighth final at the season-ending event. The 21-time Grand Slam winner was clutch when it mattered most, grabbing the only break of the first set in the 12th game to pocket the opener. A single break sufficed in the second as he tied Roger Federer's record (six) of most ATP Finals titles.

In the process, the Serb also pocketed the biggest paycheque ($4.74 million) by a tennis player for going unbeaten in Turin and also became the oldest player to win the event.

While Ibrahimovic is currently out of action following knee surgery, Djokovic won 18 of his last 19 matches to end the year in the top five of the ATP singles rankings.

“I always see myself as the best player in the world" - Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals - Day Eight
Novak Djokovic at the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals - Day Eight

Novak Djokovic had a stop-start 2022 campaign, missing six major tournaments (two Grand Slams and four Masters 1000s) due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance.

Moreover, he earned no ranking points for his seventh Wimbledon triumph, as the Championships were stripped of ranking points for not allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes following Russia's Ukraine invasion. Nevertheless, the super Serb qualified for the ATP Finals without needing the Grand Slam champion exemption (reigning Major winner finishing in the top 20).

Making his second visit to the Pala Alpitour, the World No. 5 continued his imperious run on indoor hardcourts, going unbeaten in five matches to create history. In his post-match press conference, he provided a sneak peek of his elite mentality, saying:

“I always see myself as the best player in the world. I have that kind of mentality and that kind of approach. Regardless of who is across the net, regardless of what the surface is, regardless of what season it is, what number of the professional season in my career we're facing. It's always the same. The ambitions are as high as possible."

With the 35-year-old set to play the Australian Open next year, he could not have envisaged a better end to his 2022 season.

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Edited by Anirudh
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