On Saturday night, Novak Djokovic won his 1,000th career match against Casper Ruud in the Italian Open semi-finals. After Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl, and Jimmy Connors, the world No. 1 became the fifth player to accomplish the milestone but only beat Federer in terms of speed.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC won his 1,000th career match at the Italian Open, defeating Casper Ruud.
Djokovic advanced to the final of the Rome Masters after defeating Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in less than two hours. Becoming the first player in history to win 1,000 matches. “Obviously, I witnessed Roger and Rafa celebrating in a previous couple of years. And I was looking forward to getting to that 1000 myself,” said the world No. 1 after seeing his fiercest rivals reach the same milestone.
Djokovic said that his opponents motivated him. He will be thrilled to learn that he beat Federer to achieve victory number 1,000 in terms of the number of matches they played to reach the milestone, albeit he was barely pipped to the post by Nadal. When the Serb won his 1,000th match, he was in his 1,203rd match.
Nadal, a 21-time Grand Slam winner, needed 1,201 matches to earn 1,000 wins. Thus Djokovic was just two matches behind him. However, the world No. 1 will take some solace because he achieved a significant victory ahead of Federer, who required 1,227 games – the highest of the five guys with at least 1,000 match victories.
Following his 1,000th victory
But retiring luminaries Connors and Lendl, who required 1,164 and 1,199 matches to reach 1,000 victories, outdid the Big Three. Following his 1,000th victory, Connors went on to win 1,274 games in his career, while Lendl retired with 1,068.
Federer has 1,251 victories and counting, while Nadal is barely ahead with 1,051. Federer remains active but has not played since Wimbledon last year as he recovers from his third knee surgery. When he meets Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final on Sunday, Djokovic will be looking to make it 1,000 by capturing his sixth championship in Rome.
It would also bring his total number of Masters 1000 championships to 38, as he now leads the group with 37 to Nadal’s 36. After defeating Ruud, he commented, “I’m incredibly grateful and honored to have that many wins on tour.”
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“It’s been a long time since I played my first match on tour and won my first match.” Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep going and achieve many more successes.”
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