Djokovic enters elite thousand club | Sunday Observer

Djokovic enters elite thousand club

22 May, 2022
Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic became the fifth man to win 1000 Tour-level matches by beating Casper Ruud in the semi final of the Italian Open in Rome before winning the title.

He joins record-holder Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal in passing the landmark.

The 34-year-old Serb, who won his first ATP Tour match in 2004, was presented with a cake topped with the number 1,000 by organisers afterwards.

“I am blessed and privileged to have that many victories,” Djokovic said.

“Seeing Roger and Rafa celebrate these milestones in the last couple years, I was looking forward to getting to that milestone myself.

“It is a long time since I won my first match on Tour. Hopefully I can keep going and there are many more victories to come.”

As the players shook hands, Ruud congratulated the 20-time Grand Slam champion on his landmark win.

The world number one has reached 1,000 wins more quickly than rival Federer but has taken two more matches than Nadal and was also slower than Connors and Lendl.

Djokovic had to battle at times against Norwegian Ruud, 23, but impressively came through 6-4 6-3.

He will play Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final as he chases a first title of the season. (BBC Sport)