Dominant Djokovic sinks Tsitsipas to claim sixth Italian Open title

Novak Djokovic claimed his sixth Italian Open crown after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0 7-6(5) in the final.

The most successful player in ATP 1000 Masters history, Djokovic won a record-extending 38th title in dominant fashion in Rome on Sunday.

It has been a memorable week for the Serb, who returned to world number one and became only the fifth player in history to record 1,000 match wins during his semi-final victory over Casper Ruud.

And he capped it off in the grand manner; dominating the first set before overturning 4-1 and 5-2 deficits in the second and sealing victory in the tie-break.

Djokovic becomes the oldest men’s singles champion in Rome during the Open Era at 34 years, 11 months and 23 days; eclipsing Rafael Nadal’s record by just 10 days.

“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,” he said.

“After that, it was a little tighter. At this level, one or two points can turn a match and he was then back in the game at 4-1 up.

“The match could easily have gone to a third set, but I managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back into the match.

“The tie-break, I was maybe an inch better, but it was a tight tie-break for both of us.”

Runner-up in Belgrade and a semi-finalist in Madrid last week, Djokovic was targeting his first silverware of the 2022 season.

The top seed had breezed through to his record-equalling 12th final in the Italian capital (level with Nadal) – and fourth in succession – without dropping a single set.

Djokovic had also won all of his four previous clay-court encounters with Tsitsipas; overturning a two-set deficit in last year’s French Open final.

He continued in a dominant fashion; breaking his opponent three times as he ran away with the opening set.

Boasting an impressive 14-2 record on clay in 2022, Tsitsipas was looking to build on his tally of 31 match wins – the best in the ATP for the year.

The world number five produced a determined response in the second set to move to the brink of forcing a decider at 5-2 up.

But Djokovic dug deep by winning four of the net five games to set up a tie-break, which he clinched for an 87th tour-level title.

Novak Djokovic looks to maintain his perfect clay-court record against Stefanos Tsitsipas when they clash in the Italian Open final on Sunday.

The Serb has won all four meetings between the pair on surface; notably overturning a two-set deficit to snatch last year’s French Open showpiece from under his opponent’s nose.

This is familiar territory for Djokovic. The five-time champion is appearing in a record-equalling 12th final – level with Rafael Nadal – and fourth on the bounce.

And he has looked impressive in his quest for a record-extending 38th ATP 1000 title; overcoming Aslan Karatsev, Stan Wawrinka, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Casper Ruud without dropping a single set.

The semi-final victory over Ruud was the 1000th of his wonderful career; becoming only the fifth player in ATP history to reach that tally after Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal.

Meanwhile, Tsitsipas has endured a more testing run to his maiden final in Rome.

The world number five survived two match points against Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round, while he was also forced to come from behind to defeat Karen Khachanov and Alexander Zverev in the third round and semi-finals respectively.

Nevertheless, the reigning Monte Carlo champion has found a way to maintain his impressive record on clay this season.

He has now won 14 of his 16 matches on surface and taken his overall tally to 31 for the season, with no player in the ATP recording more.

Also a runner-up in Amsterdam, Tsitsipas is now looking to stop the rot against Djokovic and claim his second title of the year.

Djokovic v Tsitsipas is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 3pm BST.

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Novak Djokovic racked up his 999th career match win as he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets to reach the Italian Open semi-finals on Friday.

A five-time winner in Rome, Djokovic also secured his return to the top of the ATP rankings by advancing to the last four of this event for a ninth successive year.

The Serbian is the most successful player in the ATP Masters 1000 series – amassing 37 titles in his career – and is now just two wins away from capturing another after digging deep to see off Auger-Aliassime.

In his first meeting with the Canadian, Djokovic broke in game eight for the opportunity to serve out for the opening set.

Auger-Aliassime responded immediately to put it back on serve, but the top seed broke to 15 at 6-5 to draw first blood.

Once again, the 20-time major winner took control of proceedings in the second set; a delicious backhand lob giving him another break and a 4-2 lead.

Nevertheless, the eighth seed dug deep to rescue match point in his next service game, before breaking back as the set went to a tie-break.

Although, it was very one-sided from there; Djokovic dominating to advance to the last four.

Next up for him is Casper Ruud after the fifth seed beat Denis Shapovalov 7-6(7) 7-5.

The Buenos Aires champion, who was also a runner-up in Miami, is through to his second semi-final in Rome, having progressed to the same stage two years ago.

The same can be said for Stefanos Tsitsipas, who chalked up his 30th victory of the season as he saw off home favourite Jannik Sinner 7-6(5) 6-2.

Champion in Monte Carlo, the fourth seed hit 10 aces on the way to setting up a showdown with Alexander Zverev.

The 2017 winner – and Madrid Open finalist – was a 7-5 6-2 victor over Cristian Garin.

Over in the Ladies’ draw, reigning champion Iga Swiatek continued her rich vein of form as she put former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu to the sword 7-6(2) 6-0.

The world number one registered her 26th successive victory of a remarkable season, in which she has already triumphed in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart.

The Pole will look to continue that streak against four-time Masters champion Aryna Sabalenka, who came from behind to beat Amanda Anisimova 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Madrid Open champion Ons Jabeur also maintained her impressive momentum with a wonderful turnaround to Maria Sakkari 1-6 7-5 6-1.

The ninth seed lost nine of the opening 10 games, but hit back with seven of the next nine to force a deciding set.

Sakkari had won each of her eight previous quarter-finals, but was completely powerless as Jabeur racked up her 16th win on clay this season – more than any other player.

Her reward is a clash with Daria Kasatkina, who advanced to the semi-finals after opponent Jil Teichmann retired injured when trailing 6-4 3-2.

World number one Novak Djokovic takes on Stan Wawrinka in the Third Round of the 2022 Italian Open in Rome on Thursday.

Djokovic, who has missed much of the season so far for medical reasons, is looking to play himself into Grand Slam form by claiming his sixth ATP Rome Masters title.

Djokovic was beaten in the final of the Serbia Open on home soil by Andrey Rublev a fortnight ago and was a semi-finalist in last week’s Madrid Open, losing out to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz in a thriller which lasted more than three and a half hours.

The 20-time major winner began his campaign here in Rome with a routine straight sets win over Aslan Karatsev and is now aiming to reach a 16th Quarter-Final in his 16th main draw appearance in Rome.

The Serbian star is chasing his 38th Masters title this week and notably claimed the first of his five Italian Open titles in 2008 by defeating Wawrinka in the final.

Wawrinka made his return to the ATP Tour at the Monte Carlo Masters, losing in the First Round to Alexander Bublik.

He secured his first match win of the season by defeating Reilly Opelka in three sets earlier this week and went on to beat Laslo Djere in another decider.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, now aged 37, is entering the twilight of his career and is targeting what would be a significant scalp on current form.

This will be the 26th meeting between Djokovic and Wawrinka, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head with 19 wins to the Swiss’ six.

Either Félix Auger-Aliassime or Marcos Giron will await the winner in the Quarter-Finals on Friday.

Djokovic v Wawrinka is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 3.45pm BST.

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Novak Djokovic and Jiri Vesely will go head-to-head in the Quarter-Finals of the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday.

Djokovic started the Dubai 2022 tournament in emphatic fashion by defeating Lorenzo Musetti and Karen Khachanov in straight sets. The Russian fought hard in the second set to take it to a tie break, but it was not enough as Djokovic won it with a 7-2 scoreline.

Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world number one, but his place at the top is under a big threat at the moment. In order to retain the top spot next week, he needs to do better in Dubai than Medvedev achieves in Acapulco.

Djokovic boasts an impressive 8-1 record in completed Quarter-Final matches here in Dubai.

Vesely has already won four fixtures here in Dubai, including two qualifying matches. In the main draw, Vesely has defeated two solid opponents in the likes of Marin Cilic and Roberto Bautista-Agut.

This is an excellent performance already for Vesely as he was knocked out in the first round in his previous three campaigns here in Dubai.

The interesting fact is that Vesely leads 1-0 in the head-to-heads with Djokovic and our prediction for this clash is Under 20.5 Games at odds of 6/10 with Bet365.

Djokovic v Vesely is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 3pm GMT.

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Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov will square off in the Second Round of the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

Djokovic has had an impressive 2021 season, having won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and also reaching the final of the US Open. He ended 2021 with another trophy at the Paris Masters and lead Serbia to the Semi-Finals of the Davis Cup.

Djokovic was unable to compete at the Australian Open this year due to his visa being cancelled, but he looked incredibly strong against Musetti in the opening round here in Dubai. He had not played any competitive match before facing Musetti, but only needed one hour and 15 minutes to defeat the Italian.

In his previous 11 appearances here in Dubai, Nole has won the title on five occasions. In addition, he has never been eliminated from this competition before the quarterfinal stage.

Khachanov, on the other hand, has recently reached the Semi-Finals in Doha where he lost in three sets against the eventual winner, Roberto Bautista-Agut. He needed three sets to defeat Alex de Minaur in the first round here in Dubai, although he looked in complete control after winning the first set.

Karen has had a solid start to 2022 overall, having reached at least the quarterfinal in three of the four ATP tournaments he entered so far.

Djokovic has dominated the previous meetings with Khachanov, having won six of the seven matches between them.

Our best prediction for this match is Under 21.5 Games at odds of 3/4 with Bet365.

Djokovic v Khachanov is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 3pm GMT.

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Novak Djokovic makes his return to competitive action with a clash against Lorenzo Musetti at the 2022 Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

A lot has happened in Djokovic’s life both on and off the court over the past 12 months. The Serbian star picked up three Grand Slams in 2021 and then was denied a chance to go for his 21st major at the Australian Open last month amid a very public fallout.

Rafael Nadal took full advantage of Djokovic’s deportation from Australia and became the first player ever to win 21 Grand Slams.

The main issue is that Nole’s last match was back in November, which means that his current form and level are a mystery. Djokovic is a five-time former champion here in Dubai and he is aiming to protect his place at the top of the ATP Rankings. However, this depends on Daniil Medvedev’s results in Acapulco.

Meanwhile, Musetti had played impressive tennis in the first half of the 2021 season, but everything collapsed after his meeting with Djokovic at the French Open.

The Italian had a two-set lead against Nole, but still wasn’t enough to win the clash. Everything fell apart since then, as Musetti has lost 15 of the last 21 matches on the main tour.

Lorenzo did well to reach the quarter-finals in Rotterdam a fortnight ago but suffered an unexpected loss against Jiri Lehecka.

Our prediction for this match is Under 19.5 Games at odds of 4/5 with Bet365.

Djokovic v Musetti is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 4.30pm GMT.

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Full details of next match, tournament and scheduled start time for 20-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic’s last competitive outing came in December’s Davis Cup Finals – where he reached the Semi-Finals with Serbia before losing out to Croatia.

The 34-year-old was due to compete in the Australian Open as defending champion in January, but was prevented from doing so following an 11-day legal battle over visa issues.

Djokovic was set to resume his quest to make history by challenging for a record 21st Grand Slam. He is currently locked level on 20 majors with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Despite being granted a medical exemption to enter Australia, the Border Force detained him on January 5 for ‘not meeting federal coronavirus requirements’, and his visa was subsequently revoked.

A judge overturned that decision but the government stepped in again to revoke the visa for a second time, claiming it was in the “public interest” and he was then deported.

The Serbian star has dominated the Australian Open in recent years, claiming the title on a record nine occasions, including the last three in a row.

Djokovic also claimed the French Open and Wimbledon titles during a dominant 2021, but was denied the Calendar Grand Slam by Daniil Medvedev in the final of the US Open.

He also won the Belgrade Open and Paris Masters and remains the world number one going into the 2022 season.

His next tournament appearance remains unclear. Throughout his career, the Serbian has taken a few weeks off after the Australian Open before returning for the ATP Masters in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

After Miami, the season moves into the European clay-court swing, with the first key tournament in Monte Carlo – where Djokovic resumed his 2021 season after winning the Australian Open two months earlier.

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic will miss the 2022 Australian Open after being deported from the country due to visa issues.

Djokovic has been an ever-present in the Australian Open since 2005 but has been prevented from competing in this year’s opening Grand Slam following an 11-day legal dispute.

The Australian government cancelled the world number one’s visa on the grounds of “health and good order” relating to Covid and the story has made global headlines.

Djokovic admitted he was “extremely disappointed” but accepted the ruling and left the country on Sunday on a flight bound for Dubai.

The 34-year-old was originally granted a medical exemption to enter Australia by two different independent health panels – one commissioned by Tennis Australia, the other by the state government of Victoria – after testing positive for Covid-19 in December.

However, the Australian Border Force detained him on January 5 for ‘not meeting federal coronavirus requirements’, and his visa was subsequently revoked.

A judge overturned that decision but the government stepped in again last Friday to revoke the visa for a second time, claiming it was in the “public interest.”

Djokovic was set to resume his quest to make history by challenging for a record 21st Grand Slam. He is currently locked level on 20 with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The Serbian star has dominated the event in recent years, claiming the title on a record nine occasions, including the last three in a row.

Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, the world number 150, is the “lucky loser” who will now replace Djokovic in the draw and will face Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in Round One on Monday.

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Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev lock horns in the second semifinal of the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals on Saturday at 8.00 pm (UK Time).

Novak Djokovic looked absolutely dominant in the group stage by topping the group with maximum points and without losing a single set in three matches. He ended the group’s last match against Norrie in just over an hour, which allowed him to get more recovery time ahead of the semifinals.

Nole is the only player who is yet to drop a set in Turin this week and he did that also back in 2014 and 2018 and also reached the final on both occasions.

On the flip side, Alexander Zverev lost against Medvedev in the group stages, but then did well to win against Berrettini and Hurkacz. Zverev has played five semifinal matches over the past few months and has won three of those, against Djokovic, Zverev and Alcaraz.

Zverev has won 24 matches on indoor hard courts since 2020 and he has suffered just six defeats in this term.

Our best prediction for this match is Novak Djokovic to win 2-0 at odds of 1/1 with Bet365.

Djokovic v Zverev is available to watch via a live stream on desktop, mobile or tablet devices from approximately 8pm BST.

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