Novak Djokovic about to join a unique club as he closes in on another record

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has re-written the record books time and again over the course of his tennis career and now he is closing in on another remarkable landmark moment.

Djokovic progressed to the semi-finals of the Italian Open with a straight-sets victory over Felix Auger Aliassime in Rome on Friday, with a performance that suggested he is getting back to his best.

The world number one, who last won the tournament in 2020, continued preparations for the French Open by triumphing 7-5 7-6 (1) against his Canadian opponent.

Djokovic will face Casper Ruud for a place in the final after the Norwegian overcame Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7) 7-5 earlier on Friday.

The win against Auger Aliassime took his career total to 999 wins, with victory against Ruud on Saturday set to take him over the magical 1000 mark.

This latest victory also ensured Djokovic would retain the world No 1 ranking heading into the French Open, with his nearest rival Daniil Medvedev set to return from injury next week.

“I thought it was high-level tennis,” Djokovic said after his latest win in Rome. “He did ask me to raise the level and I had to play consistently well.

“I thought I could have finished the job earlier… but credit to him for fighting back. Amazing atmosphere as well.

“I know Felix well. He’s been around the top of the men’s game for quite a few years. 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.”

With Rafael Nadal struggling with his foot problem once again, it appears the path is clearing for Djokovic to attempt to win his 21st Grand Slam title at the French Open in Paris, with that tournament getting underway on May 22nd.

Other players who have reaches 1000 career wins:

Jimmy Connors (1,274-283)

Roger Federer (1,242-271)

Ivan Lendl (1,068-242)

Rafael Nadal (1051–212)