Novak Djokovic will head into the French Open later this month because the No. 1-ranked participant in males’s singles tennis because the Serb made certain he didn’t concede the highest rank to Daniil Medvedev for the second time this yr. Djokovic wanted to succeed in the semi-final of the Italian Open 2022 and the 20-time Grand Slam champion stormed into the final 4 in Rome, beating Felix Auger-Aliasimme 7-5, 7-6 (1) within the quarter-finals on Friday.
Djokovic will face Norwegian sixth seed Casper Ruud within the semi-final and the Serb is aware of it will not be a straightforward check regardless of having proven indicators of returning to peak kind in his quarter-final win
Djokovic is but to win a title on tour after having misplaced the Madrid Open semi-final to Carlos Alcaraz earlier this month and unusual outcomes coupled with the Australian Open controversy earlier this yr. However, the Serb is favorite to win the title after Rafael Nadal was knocked out early within the competitors.
Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime had been neck and neck till the Serb broke to guide 5-3 however the eighth seed fought again.
It proved solely a blip although as Djokovic wrapped up the opening set in model. The 21-year-old Aliassime was applauded by Djokovic for his show of endurance in rallies however once more fell 5-3 behind, solely to pull himself again into the competition once more.
Having compelled a tiebreak although, Aliassime was no match for Djokovic who discovered one other gear when required.
“I know Felix well. He’s been around the top of the men’s game for quite a few years,” Djokovic mentioned.
“He’s got a lethal serve, honestly… He’s hitting his spots in the box incredibly well with the serve, and it was not easy for me at all to return. He’s also returning well, he’s moving well. He’s a very complete player.”
Djokovic might be eying his 100oth tour-level victory on Saturday and a win on Sunday within the remaining will guarantee he makes it a record-extending thirty eighth ATP Masters 1000 title.
Ruud is ranked 10 within the World and he has proven indicators of fine kind in 2022, reaching the ultimate of the Miami Masters earlier this yr. However, Djokovic has a 2-0 head-to-head document in opposition to Ruud, whom he defeated within the semi-final in Rome in 2020 and on the ATP Finals in 2021.
“Great quality opponent again. Clay-court specialist, but he has improved a lot in other surfaces, played the final of Miami this year. Just a very hard worker, nice guy,” Djokovic added.
“We practise a lot and get along well off the court. Obviously, on the court we want to win against each other, no doubt… Hopefully I can play as well as I did tonight (Friday).”