The Serbian drew level with Roger Federer’s tally as he earned a 7-5 6-3 victory over 23-year-old Ruud, bringing an end to a tumultuous 2022.
Djokovic was unable to compete in two of the four Grand Slams this year as a result of his Covid vaccination status, though he did pick up a sixth Wimbledon title in the summer.
Ruud, meanwhile, reached the final at both the French Open and US Open, falling short against Rafael Nadal in Paris before Carlos Alcaraz battled past him in New York.
The Norwegian saved two break points in his first service game of the final against Djokovic to hold, but it set the tone for the match, with Ruud regularly forced onto the back foot.
There were a number of lengthy rallies, including 36 shots in one to set up a championship point for Djokovic who then clinched victory with an ace, winning the title for the first time in seven years.
“It’s finals, usually these kind of matches are decided by very small margins and one break of serve was enough in both sets,” said Djokovic.
“I knew Casper was playing really well coming into this match. I think we both served very well. I think in some decisive moments, like the 12th game of the first set, I just managed to put a few returns back in play, make him run and make him play.
“I was really pleased with the way I was playing from the back of the court, particularly the forehand was looking to be really aggressive and it worked great, I am really pleased with the performance.”
He added: “Seven years, it’s been a long time, but at the same time this – the fact that I waited seven years – makes this victory even sweeter and even bigger.”
In the doubles, Joe Salisbury became the first British player to win the title, alongside partner Rajeev Ram.
The duo had lost the championship match last year, but were victorious this time around, beating Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 7-6 (4) 6-4 to lift the trophy.
“It’s very special,” said Salisbury. “I think it makes it extra special being the first Brit. Hopefully there will be many more. There were three of us here this week. All did really well, had really good years. I’m sure there will be many more.
“But, yeah, really happy with it. I think it’s just special for us after coming so close in a couple of years, to get over the line this time feels amazing.”
Additional reporting by PA Sport.