Italian Open: Novak Djokovic records his 1,000th career victory to advance to another final in Rome | Tennis News

Djokovic will face Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas after a straight-sets win over Casper Ruud in Rome; The world No. 1’s victory is the 1,000th of his professional career and secures him a 12th appearance in the Italian Open final

Last update: 05/14/22 9:57 p.m.

Novak Djokovic qualified for ATP Masters 1000 final in Rome

World number one Novak Djokovic recorded his 1,000th career win by beating Casper Ruud in straight sets to book a place in the Italian Open final.

Djokovic had taken a 4-0 lead before world No. 10 Ruud briefly pulled himself together with his own break at 5-3, but the Norwegian couldn’t stop the set from slipping away.

The second set turned out to be much tighter, staying on serve until the seventh game when Djokovic finally converted a fourth break point chance.

A comfortable hold put the Serb on the brink of a historic victory, which he delivered with another break, smashing a forehand cross return, to progress 6-4 6-4 through Sunday’s final.

“Thank you to the tournament and the crowd for celebrating this milestone with me,” Djokovic said. “Obviously I’ve seen Roger and Rafa celebrate these milestones over the past two years. I was looking forward to reaching that thousand myself. I’m really, really lucky to have so many wins on the tour.

“It’s been a long time, since I played my first match, since I won my first match on the circuit. I hope I can continue.”

Djokovic will now face world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached the Italian Open final for the first time after rallying to defeat Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals. opening.

Djokovic will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's final

Djokovic will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final

Tsitsipas, who will move up to fourth in the new ATP rankings next week, overcame Zverev as he remained consistent from the baseline and strong on serve throughout.

Zverev was clinical in the opening set with his first serve working like clockwork, but the German dropped a set for the first time in this year’s tournament as Tsitsipas raised his own level in the second set.

Tsitsipas also won the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this season

Tsitsipas also won the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this season

Tsitsipas struck first in the deciding game, earning a break to lead 3-2 when Zverev sent a forehand into the net. Tsitsipas then broke Zverev’s serve again to finally earn a comfortable win, as the German’s play died down.

The 23-year-old now has a Tour-leading 31 wins this year and leads his head-to-head record 8-4 against Zverez, who is yet to win a title this season.

Swiatek extends winning streak to reach final

Defending Italian Open champion Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 27 matches to defeat Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets and book her place in the final, where she will face Ons Jabeur for the title.

Swiatek is undefeated in singles since February

Swiatek is undefeated in singles since February

The 20-year-old world No. 1, from Poland, moved up 6-2 6-1 against the eighth seed to become the first player since Simona Halep in 2017 to make four WTA 1000 Finals in a single season.

“In these tournaments where we play day after day, we don’t really have time to celebrate. Right after we finish the previous match, we have to think about the next one,” Swiatek said in his post-match interview. “It’s quite difficult, but I know that afterwards I’m going to be really proud of myself.”

Swiatek has already won WTA 1000 victories in Qatar, Indian Wells and Miami this season

Swiatek has already won WTA 1000 victories in Qatar, Indian Wells and Miami this season

Tunisia’s Jabeur needed three sets to pass Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, eventually going 6-4 1-6 7-5 after saving a match point. The ninth seed is aiming for a second straight WTA title triumph after winning the Madrid Open last week.

“It was hard for me not to be 100% there, so I’m pretty happy to have got the win and to be in the final again,” Jabuer said. “I’m exhausted, yes, but that’s part of my job. It’ll help me push more tomorrow. There’s only one game left.”

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