At this stage of his career, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic sets new milestones and records in almost every tournament he plays. His latest milestone is one that he will be particularly proud of.
The Serb defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Italian Open. In the process, Djokovic became the first player to reach the last eight of a Masters 1000 event on 16 straight occasions. The Serb has reached the quarterfinals in Rome in each of his appearances since his debut in 2007.
In his 15 previous appearances at the Italian Open (prior to this year), Djokovic has reached the final 11 times, winning the title on five occasions. Last year, he was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the final.
Novak Djokovic notches up 998th career win with victory over Stan Wawrinka
Novak Djokovic wasted no time in taking control of his third-round match against Stan Wawrinka, breaking the Swiss’ serve in the very first game. He was solid behind his own serve throughout the match, giving Wawrinka very few looks at break points. The top seed stepped up his level on the big points and dropped just four games in the entire match.
The win was Djokovic’s 998th on the ATP tour. He is now just two victories away from becoming the fifth man to enter the 1000-wins club. The four players to have notched up 1000 match wins are Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The World No. 1 will face Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarterfinals. The Canadian advanced to the last eight with a straight-sets win against Marcos Giron. This will be the first meeting between Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime.