Novak Djokovic claims 1,000th career win to reach Italian Open final
Novak Djokovic has joined four other legends of the game by defeating Casper Ruud to claim his 1,000th career tour level victory.
The world number one joins Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jimmy Connors in the 1,000 club after defeating the Norwegian 6-4, 6-3 to reach his 12th career final at the Italian Open.
He will take on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final after the Greek defeated 2017 champion Alexander Zverev in his semi-final.
Djokovic said after his win: “Thanks to the tournament and the crowd for celebrating the milestone with me.
“Obviously seeing Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] celebrating those milestones in the last couple of years.
“I was looking forward to getting to 1,000 myself.
“I’m blessed to have that many victories on the tour.”
Nadal celebrated his 1,000th career win in 2020 at that year’s Paris Masters, while Federer did so by winning Brisbane in 2015.
Djokovic needed 1,203 matches to reach his milestone, while Federer required 24 more and Nadal two fewer at 1,201.
Jimmy Connors did it in 1,164, and Ivan Lendl in 1,199.
Djokovic’s appearance in the final means that for an 18th year in a row at least one of Djokovic or Nadal will appear in the championship match, a streak reaching all the way back to Nadal’s first title in the Eternal City back in 2004.
While Djokovic pushes for a seventh career title at the Foro Italico he simultaneously goes for a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title to pull two ahead of Nadal’s second-placed tally.
In order to stop that from happening, Tsitsipas must secure a first win over the Serb since the 2019 Shanghai Masters.
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