Novak Djokovic shares disappointment despite Italian Open win as he seeks 1000th victory


Novak Djokovic admitted he was disappointed not to close out his Italian Open match against Felix Auger-Aliassime sooner after clinching a 7-5 7-6(1) win in their first career meeting. The world No 1 is now eyeing a milestone 1000th win in tomorrow’s match against Casper Ruud.

Djokovic led Auger-Aliassime by a set and 5-2, holding a match point on the Canadian’s serve before the eighth seed managed to hold on and break the world No 1, sending the second set into a tiebreak where Djokovic eventually got the job done. After the match, he admitted he was disappointed not to have closed it out earlier as he complimented his opponent after what was their first meeting.

“I thought I could’ve finished the job earlier,” he confessed. “I was a set, 5-2 match point, and serving for the match but credit to him for fighting back and amazing atmosphere as well tonight.” Although he needed longer than hoped to close out the match, Djokovic scored his 999th career victory against the Canadian and is now seeking win number 1000 over Casper Ruud in the semi-finals.

Asked whether Rome was a good place to reach the milestone, he said: “Yes, yes absolutely. So hopefully it can happen tomorrow.” The 20-time Major champion had also been surprised with some elements of the world No 9’s game despite sharing the practice court several times in the past.

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