ATP Rome: History-maker Novak Djokovic scores ATP win No. 1000!

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is through to his 55th Masters 1000 final following a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Casper Ruud in the Rome Masters semi-final. Novak has reached the 19th clay-court Masters 1000 final and the 11th in Rome, seeking the sixth Foro Italico crown versus Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday. Novak’s win over Casper is his 1000th on the ATP Tour, becoming the fifth player in the Open era to achieve that after Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal! Djokovic toppled Ruud for the third time in as many encounters, keeping the first and second serve under control and getting broken once. Casper served at 75%, but it was not enough to keep him safe, facing nine break points and experiencing four breaks of serve to propel Novak into the final.

Novak Djokovic achieved the 1000th ATP victory in the Rome Masters semi-final.

Djokovic fired 20 winners and unforced errors, firing only four service winners and trailing in the shortest range up to four strokes. The Serb erased that deficit with a better performance in the mid-range and the most extended exchanges to control the scoreboard and move closer to the title. In the encounter’s first game, the Norwegian sprayed a backhand error to experience a break and an early setback. The Serb cemented the lead with a hold at 15 in game two and forced Casper’s mistake in the next for a double break and a 3-0 advantage. Djokovic opened a 5-1 gap before Ruud seized his lone break point in game eight to reduce the deficit and prolong the set.

Casper reduced the deficit to 4-5 with a hold in game nine before Novak wrapped up the set in the next one for 6-4 in 55 minutes. Ruud played well in those moments and followed Djokovic’s pace in the second set’s opening six games. Novak landed a forehand down the line winner in game seven to create two break chances, and Casper saved both to extend the game. Djokovic grabbed the fourth break chance after Ruud’s backhand mistake to open a 4-3 gap and move closer to the finish line. Novak brought the eighth game home at 15 to confirm the lead and sealed the deal with a forehand crosscourt winner in the next one to celebrate a massive milestone.