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Novak Djokovic joins the 1,000 win club and sets Rome final with Stefanos Tsitsipas

Novak Djokovic earned his 1,000th career win and booked a rematch of last year’s Roland-Garros final with Stefanos Tsitsipas at Rome.

Djokovic Rome 2022 Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 14, 2022 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his semi final match against Norway’s Casper Ruud || 230553_0072

ATP Rome 1000 | Draws Schedule

Novak Djokovic joined the ATP’s 1000-win club on Saturday in Rome, defeating Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3, to book a spot in the final alongside Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The world No 1 becomes the fifth ATP player to achieve the feat, along with Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal, and he took time to soak in the accomplishment before he turned his thoughts to Sunday’s final.

“I was seeing Roger and Rafa celebrate those milestones in the last couple of years,” Djokovic said. “I was looking forward to get to that 1,000 myself – I’m really blessed and privileged to have that many victories on the tour. It’s been a long time since I’ve played and won my first match on the tour. Hopefully I can keep going and many more victories to come.” 

A dominant performance from Djokovic

Djokovic was dominant at the start and the finish of his third career meeting with Ruud on Saturday, and he will take confidence into Sunday’s final as a result.

“I thought I played very well,” Djokovic said. “I started fantastic – 4-love – then I did slow down a bit, I did drop my level and I wasn’t feeling that great on the court for about 15, 20 minutes. He used that and he managed to get himself back in the first set. It was important to close it out in the tenth game to win the first set.

“I felt I played really well in the first four games and the last four games of the match and hopefully I can take that level into tomorrow’s final.” 

Djokovic has dominated at the Foro Italico in recent years and 2022 has been no exception. He has yet to drop a set and he improves his record to 63-10 lifetime in Rome. He will bid for his sixth Rome title against Tsitsipas on Sunday, and his 38th at the Masters 1000 level.

Djokovic owns a 6-2 lifetime edge over Tsitsipas, including five straight wins, and he is 4-0 on clay against the Greek.

“Another final against [Tsitsipas] in one of the biggest tournaments we have in the world,” he said. “He’s definitely in form, in the last few years he’s been top two, three in general in the world, but especially on clay court. I can expect a big battle on the court, but I’m ready for it.”

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