Novak Djokovic claimed his second title in as many weeks on Sunday as the Serb defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to earn a place in the year-end final by winning the ATP event in Kazakhstan.
The former No. 1, currently ranked seventh, is now assured of a spot in the eight-man ATP Finals in Turin next month, with his place inside the top 20 untouchable.
His Wimbledon title from July gives him a leg up in that calculation as a reigning Grand Slam champion.
Djokovic backed up last weekend’s trophy in Tel Aviv as he came good in the Astana title match; he now stands 8-2 in his career series with Tsitsipas.
The Serb moved through into the final when Daniil Medvedev quit their semi-final after two sets with an adductor strain injury.
Victory marked the 90th trophy of the 35-year-old’s career.
He is 8-0 since his return to tennis after nearly a three-month break after winning Wimbledon due to his ban from North America due to his refusal to get a COVID jab.
“The break gave me an increased hunger for titles,” he said. “I could not ask for a better r-start to the season.
“I’m super pumped and motivated to end the season playing as well as I have these past few weeks.”
Djokovic never let Tsitsipas into contention, committing kust seven unforced errors and winning on his third match point in 75 minutes.
He produced 15 winners while Tsitsipas had 25 unforced errors.
“I’ve always dared to dream,” Djokovic said. “I always hoped that I would have a great career.
“I didn’t know how many finals I would play or how many titles I would win. But I always had the intention of reaching the highest heights.”
Djokovic owns three 2022 titles including Wimbledon, Rome and last week in Israel; he stands 33-6 on the season.
He is not due to play until early November at the Paris Bercy Masters but could conceivably take a wild card into one of two 500-level Tour events in Basel and Vienna during the last week of this month.
Main photo:- Novak Djokovic winning Astana Open – by Astana Open