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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday May 13, 2022

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic will remain at No.1 next week thanks to his quarterfinal victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday in Rome.

Photo Source: Getty

999 - and counting.

World No.1 Novak Djokovic defeated Felix Auger-Aliasime 7-5, 7-6(1) on Friday at the Foro Italico to preserve his top ranking for another week. The Serb, who will be ranked No.1 at Roland-Garros, will bid to become the fifth player in ATP history to earn his 1,000 win on Saturday when he faces Norway’s Casper Ruud for a spot in his 12th Rome final.

Tennis Express

“Hopefully it can happen tomorrow,” Djokovic said of the potential milestone, and the chance to join Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the lofty list.

To do it he’ll have to defuse one of the tour’s most dangerous clay-courters. Djokovic owns a 2-0 lifetime record against World No.10 Ruud, including a win at Rome in 2022 in straight sets.

“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. Hopefully I can play as well as I did tonight,” he said.

Djokovic: Auger-Aliassime Has a Lethal Serve

In his first meeting with Canada’s Auger-Aliassime, Djokovic came away impressed.

“He's been around the men's game for quite a few years, but we never had a chance to face each other,” he said. “He has the lethal serve honestly. One thing is to practice and the other thing is to play against somebody in an official match. He's hitting spots in the box incredibly well with his serve. It was not easy for me at all, to return. He's also returning well, moving well. He's a very complete player.”

Djokovic improves to 62-10 at Rome lifetime – he has reached the final 11 times, winning five titles at the Foro Italico.


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