There are very few clubs that 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic is not a part of. On Saturday, the Serb could join another elite group if he wins his semi-final against Casper Ruud at the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome.
On Friday, Djokovic defeated Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) for his 999th career win on the ATP Tour. A win over Ruud will mark his 1,000th career singles win and make him only the fifth player in the history of men’s tennis in the Open Era to reach the 1,000 singles wins milestone.
Not surprisingly, two of Djokovic’s greatest rivals – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – are part of that list. Nadal is fourth on the list with 1,051 wins while Ivan Lendl is third with 1,068 wins.
Federer, inactive since Wimbledon 2021, is in second place with 1,251 victories and is 23 wins away from tying the all-time leader Jimmy Connors, who sits at the top of the leaderboard with 1,274 wins.
Tenistas con más victorias oficiales (Open Era/Men’s Singles):
🇺🇸 Jimmy Connors | 1274
🇨🇭 Roger Federer | 1251
🇺🇸🇨🇿 Ivan Lendl | 1068
🇪🇸 Rafa Nadal | 1051
🇷🇸 Novak Djokovic | 999
— MisterOnly.Tennis (@OnlyRogerCanFly) May 13, 2022
Would this be a fitting venue to bring up the one thousand (wins)?#Djokovic: Yes, absolutely. Hopefully it can happen tomorrow.
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) May 13, 2022
Very hard worker, nice guy: Djokovic on semi-final foe Ruud
Djokovic takes a 2-0 career head-to-head record against Ruud into their semi-final on Saturday. While he may be the favourite, the Serb is not taking the match lightly.
“Great quality opponent again. Clay court specialist, has improved on all surfaces. Played final in Miami this year. Very hard worker, nice guy. Practiced a lot. Get along well off the court. Played him here a couple years ago in the semis. Think tomorrow it’s going to be night. Hopefully I can play as well as I did tonight.”
Friday’s quarter-final win also secured the world No 1 spot for Djokovic for at least another week. The Serb will remain at the top of the ATP rankings on Monday irrespective of how the rest of the results pan out this weekend in Rome.