Novak Djokovic US Open 2021

Novak Djokovic makes it 20 career wins over Stan Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic has eased past three-time Slam champion Stan Wawrinka for his 20th victory over the Swiss to reach the last eight of the Italian Open. 

The world number one is now into his 16th career quarter-final in Rome after defeating Wawrinka 6-2, 6-2 as he pursues a record-extending 38th career Masters 1000 title.

Djokovic is also just a win away from ensuring that he will remain atop the ATP rankings as he must reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open to be certain of that result.

The five-time Rome champion said in his post-match interview: “It’s great to see Stan back on winning terms.

“He won a tough two matches [before facing me].”

The Serb and the Swiss had not met on court since the 2019 US Open, when Wawrinka came out on top after Djokovic retired part way through the third set.

Moreover, today was just a third meeting between the pair in six years, with their previous 23 ATP tour level meetings coming between 2006 and 2015 before their battle in the 2016 US Open final when the Swiss clinched his third Major crown.

Wawrinka is just five matches and four tour level matches into his comeback from injury and two surgeries, something Djokovic acknowledged about the match today.

He said: “You can see he is physically not where he wants to be.

“But he’s Stan Wawrinka, he can hurt you if you give him time.

“I managed to do well I think.”

In order to retain the world number one spot Djokovic must now defeat eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime after the young Canadian beat Marcos Giron in straight sets.

It will be a first career meeting between the two men.

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