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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday May 12, 2022

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic eased past Stan Wawrinka in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals at Rome.

Photo Source: TTV

Novak Djokovic continued his Rome dominance on Thurdsday against an old rival who is on the way back up. The World No.1 thwarted Stan Wawrinka’s upset hopes with a steady 6-2 6-2 triumph to reach the quarterfinals and set a Friday clash with Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Tennis Express

Djokovic improves to 20-6 lifetime over 37-year-old Wawrinka, and 61-10 lifetime at the Foro Italico where he is a five-time champion. The Serb has appeared in Rome 16 times and has never failed to reach the quarterfinals.

“It’s good to see Stan back on winning terms, he won two matches,” Djokovic said. “Physically he isn’t where he wants to be but nevertheless he’s Stan Wawrinka, he can hurt you if you give him time.”

Djokovic hit 15 winners against 13 unforced errors and saved three of four break points. Wawrinka hit 14 winners against 23 unforced – he falls to 0-3 against Djokovic at Rome.

Djokovic still has unfinished business at Rome. He needs to win on Friday in order to ensure that he will remain No.1 in the ATP rankings next week. To do that he’ll have to defeat Canada’s Auger-Aliassime, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over American Marcos Giron on Thursday. If he does not win Daniil Medvedev will climb back to the top of the ATP rankings.

“I’ve known Felix now for quite a few years,” Djokovic said. “He’s right up there, he’s as hard of a worker as you can see on the tour, with an all-around game. I know his game, and I know what’s expected.”

As for Wawrinka, he’ll head to Geneva next week with some momentum. He will rise over 100 spots in next week’s ATP rankings, from 361 to 255, thanks to his first two wins on tour in 15 months.


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