By Matias Grez, CNN
Novak Djokovic became just the fifth man in history to reach 1,000 Tour wins as he defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in the Italian Open semifinals.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl are the only other men to have reached the historic milestone. Djokovic reached his 1,000th win in 1,203 matches, making him the fourth fastest to achieve the feat, according to ATP stats.
The 20-time grand slam winner, who was presented with a cake by tournament organizers to celebrate the occasion, earned his first Tour-level win back in 2004 and has since gone on to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
“Thanks to the tournament and the crowd for celebrating the milestone with me,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview with the ATP. “Obviously I was seeing Roger and Rafa celebrating those milestones in the last couple of years and I was looking forward to getting to that 1,000 myself.
“I’m really, really blessed and privileged to have that many victories on the Tour. It’s been a long time since I played my first and won my first match on the Tour and hopefully I can keep going and there are many more victories to come.”
Djokovic, who is searching for his first title of the season, will be looking to make it 1,001 wins on Sunday as he takes on Greek world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Italian Open final.
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