Djokovic Returns To The Final At The Italian Open

ROME (AP) —This was what Novak Djokovic needed a week before the French Open.

Top-ranked Serbs defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in the Italian Open semi-finals on Saturday to advance to the biggest final of the year.

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After missing much of his activity at the beginning of the season due to his refusal to vaccinate against the coronavirus, Djokovic aims to beat his rival Stefanos Tsitsipas five times in a row in this Sunday’s final.

Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 to reach his first final in Rome.

Djokovic is aiming for his sixth title in Rome. He won his 1,000th career victory. He is the fifth person to reach this mark, following Jimmy Connors (1,274), Roger Federer (1,251), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Rafael Nadal (1,051).

After the match, Djokovic was given a cake with the number 1,000 on it.

“I saw Roger and Rafa celebrating those milestones, and I was looking forward to winning 1,000,” he said.

Vulcan Star is playing his fifth tournament this year. His previous best result was to reach the final of the Serbia Open last month. Last week he fell to 19-year-old Spanish Carlos Alcaraz in the Madrid Open semifinals.

In the women’s category, women have won in a row like Igashifion since Serena Williams seven years ago.

On Saturday, number one defeated Alina Sabalenka 6-2, 6-1 to add 27 consecutive victories to advance to the final.

Williams won the same number of matches in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m always surprised that I can play better and better,” Swiatech said. “Now I can believe that there is no ceiling. That’s the best.”

Swiertech will face Ons Jabeur to defend his title in Rome and aim for five consecutive tournaments. Ons Jabeur defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to win the 11th consecutive title and won the British Open last week.

He sometimes struggled to serve, but Italico had a forehand and backhand winner with Foro Italico’s slow red clay. Paul had a delicate semi-volley backhand in the last game of the first set.

Swiatek had the same number of winners and unforced errors, while Sabalenka had 8 winners and a whopping 31 unforced errors.

“Today I felt like I really understood clay,” Swiertech said.

Sabalenka requested a medical break in the second set to receive back treatment.

Surprise champion Swiatek, who ranked 54th at the 2020 French Open, will be a favorite to win his second Roland Garros title. This year’s 2nd Grand Slam Tournament will start next weekend.

Swiatech’s rivals in the Italian final on Sunday are either Ons Jabeur (10 consecutive wins) or Daria Kasatkina.

Swiatek’s season is more than just a streak.

With more than half the other, he won as many games (36) this year as he has in all of 2021.

She is the seventh player to reach the Roman final twice before her 21st birthday. Previously were Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis and Venus Williams.

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