Novak Djokovic is training in Marbella, working hard on his game and preparing to enter the Rome Masters for the 17th time. If a six-time champion wins three matches and reaches the quarter-final, he will become the only player with 17 quarter-finals at a single Masters 1000 event.
Novak shares the record with Rafael Nadal, who has been the quarter-finalist in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid 16 times!
Djokovic followed the rival’s record in Rome last year and will have a chance to pass him, with Nadal skipping his favorite tournament at Foro Italico due to an injury.
Novak is 64-10 in Rome, debuting in 2007 and never losing before the quarter-final! Nadal halted him in the last eight, and Novak went all the way a year later to claim his first clay-court Masters 1000 title. Djokovic defeated Nadal in the Rome finals in 2011 and 2014 before ousting Roger Federer in 2015 to extend his reign.
The Serb lost the title matches to Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev in 2016 and 2017 before Nadal beat him in the following two seasons. Novak claimed two more titles in 2020 and 2022 and lost the final to Rafa in 2021, always among the favorites at Foro Italico.
Djokovic kicked off his last year’s Rome Masters campaign with a win over Aslan Karatsev in the second round. Novak lost serve once and grabbed four return games to control the pace and move into the last 16. In the repeat of the 2008 final, Djokovic defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes, becoming the second player with 16 quarter-finals at a single Masters 1000 event.
Novak Djokovic will seek his 17th Rome Masters quarter-final.
It was their 11th Masters 1000 duel, and Novak delivered his 11th victory following a strong performance on serve and return. The Serb served at 75% and defended three out of four break chances.
Stan landed 42% of the first serve in and could not do much from there. He gave away over half of the points behind the initial shot and suffered five breaks from seven chances offered to Novak. The Serb tamed his strokes nicely and fired 15 winners and 13 unforced errors to bring the victory home in no time.
Djokovic prevailed over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-final and ousted Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift his sixth Rome Masters trophy. Novak will be eager to chase the seventh title in two weeks following early losses in Monte Carlo and Banja Luka.