World number one Novak Djokovic took his place in the Italian Open final on Saturday by claiming his 1,000th career win in straight sets over Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in Rome.

Djokovic will face Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final, the Serb’s fourth in as many years in the Italian capital and he basked in the warm applause of a crowd for whom he always enjoys playing.

“If I can pick the two places in the world where I would want to celebrate the thousandth win it’s in Serbia and here in Rome,” Djokovic said in Italian after being given a cake in honour of the milestone.

“Let’s go for another thousand.”

Djokovic is chasing a sixth title at the Foro Italico ahead of Roland Garros later this month and dealt with world number 10 Ruud on his way to a 12th final at one of his favourite venues.

The 34-year-old has already secured a record-extending 370th week as world number one thanks to his straight sets victory over by Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday.

Continue reading this article on SportsDesk, the sports website of the Times of Malta

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us