Djokovic Ensures To Remain No. 1 By Beating Felix In Rome | ATP Tours

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 Djokovic Ensures To Remain No. 1 By Beating Felix In Rome |  ATP Tours

The uncertainty about the possibility of a change in the top of the Pepperstone ATP Ranking from next week ended this Friday at the end of the day at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. If Novak Djokovic fell in the quarterfinals or earlier in Rome, he would lose No. 1 to Daniil Medvedev. However, the Serbian has been able to handle the pressure.

He won 7-5, 7-6(1) over Felix Auger-Aliassime on Friday to add his 13th qualification to a semi-final at the Foro Italico, and to secure his permanence at No. 1, a fact that remains. evidenced in the new Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, and which will see the Serb reach 370 weeks at the top of men’s tennis on Monday.

This result is a reward for the perseverance of the 34-year-old right-hander, who may have lost focus after blowing a 5-3 lead on serve… in both sets! Djokovic continued to battle against an inspired Auger-Aliassime who went from 5-7, 2-5 to force a tie-break in the second set. And after two hours and nine minutes, ‘Nole’ was left with the victory that summons him on Saturday with the Norwegian Casper Ruud.

“I think there was high-level tennis,” Djokovic said after the match. “He asked me to raise the level and I had to play consistently well. I think I could have finished the job sooner… but it wasn’t thanks to him for fighting back. Tonight there was also an amazing atmosphere.”

“I know Felix well. He has been at the top of the men’s game for quite a few years,” added Djokovic about the worthy opponent of him. “He has a lethal serve, the truth… he is placing his services incredibly well, and it has not been easy for me to return them. He is also returning well, he is moving well. He is a very complete player”.

After overcoming the eighth seed in the first round of the ATP Head2Head between the two, Djokovic will now look for a milestone in their duel on Saturday, as he fell one win short of his 1,000th career win. Also, if he advances to the final, the Belgrade native will chase a record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 title on Sunday.

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Djokovic leads his record 2-0 with Ruud, whom he has met in the past in the semifinals two years ago in Rome, as well as at the most recent edition of the Nitto ATP Finals. The one from Belgrade won both matches in straight sets. “I’ll have a high-quality opponent again”, anticipated ‘Nole’. “He is a specialist on clay, but he has improved a lot on other surfaces, he played in the Miami final this year. He’s just he’s a hard worker and a really nice guy.”

“We practice a lot and we get along well off the court,” adds the No. 1 seed, who this Friday got his first victory against a Top-10 in 2022. This Saturday he goes for the second. “Tomorrow obviously on the court we want to win against each other, without a doubt… Hopefully I can play as well as I did tonight.”

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