Novak Djokovic was already one of only three men with 20 or more Grand Slam titles, and he entered another exclusive club Saturday. The Serbian won his 1,000th ATP match against Casper Ruud at the Italian Open, punching his ticket to the tournament’s final in the process.
After defeating Ruud 6-4, 6-3, Djokovic now joins Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal as the only men with 1,000-plus wins in the Open Era. Djokovic and Federer each have 20 Grand Slam titles, one below Nadal’s record 21.
“I’ve seen Roger and Rafa celebrate those milestones in the last couple of years and I was looking forward to get to that 1,000 myself,” Djokovic said after the match. “I’m really, really blessed and privileged to have that many victories on the Tour. It’s been a long time, ever since I won my first match on the Tour. Hopefully I can keep going and many more victories to come.”
After the match, Djokovic celebrated on court with a cake commemorating his 1,000th win. The world No. 1 later tweeted a picture of the celebration, thanking fans for their support and “hoping for many victories to come.”
Djokovic can collect win No. 1,001 in Sunday’s Italian Open final. The 34-year-old has enjoyed significant success in Rome and especially of late; he’s won the tournament five times and competed in 12 finals, including the last four.
This time, Djokovic will square off against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached his first Italian Open final after a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 semifinal win over Alexander Zverev.