Novak Djokovic has now advanced to the final stage of the Italian Open after beating Casper Rudd in a game of two sets (7-5 6-3) on Saturday afternoon. The world number one had a bad start at the first set, being down at 5-3, before eventually going ahead to win the set and the next one too.
This is his tenth Italian Open finals and he is aiming to win it for a record fifth time. This is also his 52nd Masters 1000 appearance as he competes for his 36th Masters 1000 title, one number above Rafael Nadal’s record. Nadal’s run at the tournament ended on Saturday at the semifinals stage after losing to Deigo Schwartzman. Nadal won the event last year for the ninth time.
Djokovic would now prepare to face either Schwartzman or Denis Shapovalov in the finals. Speaking after the game on Sunday, the Serb stated that he does not take any game for granted, not regarding his position at the top position.
He said, “It is super important [to win the title]. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I don’t take anything for granted, even after 15 years on the tour, I still enjoy it. I still have a hunger for the titles and putting myself in a position to fight for the title is exactly where I want to be.”
Djokovic is recovering from a controversial disqualification he faced at the US Open. He had to leave the court after he threw his racquet and it caught the line judge at her throat.
This year has been one of a kind for the Serb and a move like winning the Italian Open would be a sliver of hope in the dark skies he has faced this year. Now, he would have to wait for the winner of the Schwartzman vs. Shopovalov fixture to know who he would face at the finals.
Written by: Leon Osamor