Novak Djokovic hits 1,000th career win to reach Italian Open final
World number one Novak Djokovic defeated Casper Roode 6-4, 6-3 to reach his 1000th Tour-level victory in the final of the Italian Open on Saturday.
Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s title match, with the Serbian playing in the final in Rome for the fourth time in a row and 12th overall.
It will be a repeat of last year’s French Open final, which Djokovic won after going down two sets.
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The 34-year-old is only the fifth man after Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafa Nadal to reach the milestone of 1,000 wins in the Open Era.
Playing under lights, Djokovic broke Norwegian Rood’s serve twice and took a 4–0 lead as the top seed made a quick start.
Rudd broke Djokovic 5-3 and kept his serve but the 20-time dominant winner closed the set.
In the second set, Rudd saved three break points in the seventh game before Djokovic took a 4–3 lead.
Djokovic broke Rudd again as he won in one hour and 42 minutes and the Serbian would look to secure a record 38th ATP Masters 1000 title in Sunday’s final.
Earlier, world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the final in Rome for the first time when the Greek defeated Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Tsitsipas, who will move up to fourth in the ATP rankings next week, will bid for his third Masters 1000 title on Sunday.
In the third claycourt Masters 1000 semi-final between the pair this season, Tsitsipas overtook Zverev as he remained consistent from baseline and held strong on serve.
Tsitsipas said, “The battle of all.” “The fight to be able to take the first shot after the serve and there was really a lot of pressure on him, which I think I was able to do really well in the third set.
“I was able to return a little more than that on third, be able to get the ball into play, be in those rallies, not give much away.
“I was really trying to be there for as long as possible and make each one count.”
Zverev was working like clockwork in the first set, but the German dropped a set for the first time in this year’s tournament as Tsitsipas leveled up in the second.
Tsitsipas scored the first goal after Zverev sent a forehand into the net to earn the break to lead 3-2.
Tsitsipas broke Zverev’s serve again to claim a comfortable victory and now has a tour-leading 31 match victories this year and has led 8-4 head-to-head against Zverev.
Zverev has not won a single title this season so far.
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