After a complicated start to the season, Novak Djokovic needed reassurance. It’s done. Sunday May 15, the Serb offered himself a sixth coronation at the Rome tournament, at the expense of the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th in the world): 6-0, 7-6 (7/5).
This victory confirms the return to great shape of the world number 1, who had not won any title in 2022, after having experienced a first quarter almost at a standstill due to his non-vaccination against Covid-19.
In the absence of Rafael Nadal, emperor with ten Roman coronations eliminated in the eighth, and Carlos Alcaraz, a phenomenon at rest for Roland-Garros (May 22-June 5), Djokovic did not fail to reach the final without concede any set.
The day before, the Serb had recorded his 1,000th victory on the ATP circuit, joining a very closed circle which had so far only counted as members Jimmy Connors (record holder with 1,274 successes), Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal.
“Yesterday and the day before yesterday, I played very well, governed the interested party after his victory. My fitness level has improved over the past few weeks. It was a wonderful tournament for me. »
“You inspire me a lot”
If Djokovic crushed the first set, taking advantage of a slump from Tsitsipas, the meeting could have gone to a third set. Led 5-2 in the second set, the Serb was able to raise the bar to conclude the debates after the tie-break.
“I surprised myself today,” admitted the world number 1. I knew what I had to do and what to expect. »
“You inspire me a lot and I hope to reach your level one day,” his opponent of the day paid tribute to him after the match.
A reissue of the last Porte d’Auteuil final, the Foro Italico poster sent a hint of Roland-Garros to Rome. Tsitsipas will have to wait a little longer to hope to take his revenge on the Serb, who deprived him of the coronation in 2021 after a battle in five sets. Djokovic will try to join the record holder Nadal in the number of Grand Slam victories (21).