Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 2022 Italian Open
Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets to win the 2022 Italian Open men's singles title. He went on to win 6-0, 7-6(5) to capture a record-extending 38th ATP Masters 1000 crown. Djokovic, who became the fifth man in the Open Era to earn 1,000 match wins in the semis, claimed his first title of the season after one hour and 37 minutes.
Djokovic won the first set convincingly before rallying from 2-5 to win the second set 7-6. As per ATP, he has become the oldest Rome champion at 34 years, 11 months and 23 days. The Serbian star has now lifted the Italian Open six times, with his first triumph coming in 2008. This was also his fourth straight clay-court final.
"I pleasantly surprised myself I can say. I had a clear game plan and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do, but I did play a perfect first set," Djokovic said. He added that things were a little tighter thereafter but he managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back into the match.
Djokovic will spend a record-extending 370th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings from Monday onwards. He has defeated Tsitsipas in consecutive years in Rome. He had overcome the fourth seed in the quarter-finals in 2021. Djokovic now leads Tsitsipas 7-2 in their ATP head-to-head series. As per ATP, he also holds a 5-0 record against the 23-year-old on clay.
With a win in the semis over Casper Rudd, Djokovic became the fifth man in the Open Era to reach a mark of 1,000 wins after Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl, and Rafael Nadal The legendary Jimmy Connors tops the tally of ATP wins (1,274-283). Meanwhile, Federer (1,251-275), Lendl (1,068-242), and Nadal (1,050-211) follow him.
Djokovic has secured a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title. He has two more titles than Nadal (36) at the moment. Earlier this year, Carlos Alcaraz Garfia quashed Djokovic's bid of winning the Madrid Open, another prestigious Masters 1000 event. The youngster defeated Djokovic in the semi-final and went on to win the tournament. Alcaraz thrashed Alexander Zverev in the final.
Djokovic beat Aslan Karatsev 7-6, 6-4 in the round of 32. He then beat Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 16. He beat Felix Auger Aliassime in the quarters 7-5, 7-6 in waht was a close contest. In the semis, he beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 6-3 in a record-breaking encounter. In the final, Djokovic overcame Tsistipas 6-0, 7-5.