Tennis

Novak Djokovic beats Casper Ruud for landmark 1000th win and Italian Open final spot


Novak Djokovic reached a huge milestone in his career as he scored his 1000th match win over Casper Ruud in the Italian Open semi-final. The world No 1 won through 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes and will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title.

It was a third career meeting between Djokovic and Ruud, with the world No 1 leading their head-to-head 2-0, including a win in the Italian Open semi-finals two years ago. And the Serb was even more motivated this time around, bidding for a landmark 1000th career win.

The top seed got off to a fast start, taking a 4-0 lead in 23 minutes with the double break. Ruud started to settle into the match and served out two love-holds before setting up his first break point of the match when Djokovic was serving for the set, getting the break as the Serb sent a ball long.

He held on to force the five-time former champion to serve it out once again, and this time Djokovic was able to close out the set 6-4 in 55 minutes. Ruud carried his improved form into the second set, with things neck-and-neck until 3-3 when the 34-year-old set up the first two break points of the set.

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