Novak Djokovic capped off one of the best seasons of his career with a 6-3, 6-3 win Sunday over Jannik Sinner in the 2023 ATP Finals in Turin, Italy. The 36-year-old won the limited-field event for a record seventh time, passing Roger Federer and earning a payday of $4.41 million in the process.
Djokovic’s payout trailed the $4.74 million he pocketed in 2022 because this time around he lost a round-robin match, which is worth $390,000. Had Sinner won, after going undefeated in the round robin, he would have taken home a record prize of $4.8 million.
The ATP Finals doesn’t receive anywhere near the fan attention or television audience as the four grand slams, but the players care just as much, in part due to the hefty purse. This tournament set a new mark by paying out more than $1 million to five players for the first time in tennis history.
The title pushed Djokovic’s prize money for the year to just shy of $16 million. Despite playing in only 12 events, his dominance when he did play enabled him to lap the rest of the field, finishing more than 2,000 ranking points and $5 million ahead of Carlos Alcaraz. That’s before tacking on any cash winnings from the ATP Bonus Pool, for which Djokovic may be ineligible due to missing too many Masters 1000 tournaments.
Djokovic had a tumultuous 2022. He was deported from Australia and barred from entering the United States due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. But in January 2023, he picked up right where he left off, winning the Australian Open while dropping just one set. He went on to make all four major finals and won three of them, just as he did in both 2015 and 2021.
Djokovic now holds six of the top 10 prize money seasons of all-time. His career total of $180.6 million leads Rafael Nadal by $46 million.
Some suspected there was a changing of the guard when the 20-year-old Alcaraz beat Djokovic at the Wimbledon final in July. The Serb responded by going 21-1 to close out the season, including a 6-3, 6-2 romp over Alcaraz in the semifinals on Friday during which he made only three unforced errors.
“Novak Djokovic is the best player to ever touch a racket, the best player to ever walk the Earth,” commentator Nick Kyrgios said on Tennis TV during the match.