Novak Djokovic joins Rafael Nadal in exclusive Masters 1000 'Club 70'

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Novak Djokovic joins Rafael Nadal in exclusive Masters 1000 'Club 70'
Novak Djokovic joins Rafael Nadal in exclusive Masters 1000 'Club 70'

Novak Djokovic earned his first notable Masters 1000 results at the beginning of 2007, reaching the Indian Wells final and claiming the title in Miami. In the following 15 seasons, Novak has been one of the players to beat at the premium series of the ATP events, conquering 36 titles from 53 finals and securing many records that will take some beating in the future.

Last week, Novak lost the Rome Open final to Rafael Nadal after a couple of challenging days at Foro Italico, leaving Rome with another massive achievement on his tally. Novak became the second player after Rafael Nadal with 70 Masters 1000 semi-finals, leaving Roger Federer on 66 and joining the Spaniard on the exclusive list.

Novak has played in at least one Masters 1000 semi-final for the past 15 years, with a dominant run between 2014-2016 when he reached the last four in 20 out of 27 events! Novak's first Masters 1000 semi-final in 2021 came in Rome following a hard-fought victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Due to rain, Novak and Stefans had to battle over two days, pushing each other to the limits before the Serb prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in three hours and 16 minutes. It was Novak's fourth straight victory over Stefanos, and he had to dig deep for it over two days and in different conditions.

The Monte Carlo champion and the ATP Race leader had the match in his hands, playing well during the rain on Friday and opening a set and a break lead against Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic is the second player with 70 Masters 1000 semi-finals.

They returned to the court on Saturday in entirely different conditions, and Novak used them to pull the break back and gain momentum to force a decider.

The Greek stayed competitive and built a 3-1 advantage and four more break chances in game five that could have sent him over the top had he converted any. Gaining a boost, Novak pulled the break back in game six and stood as the favorite in the rest of the clash.

Instead, Tsitsipas secured a break at 4-4 that pushed him a game away from the finish line, serving for a place in the semis in game ten. Like many times before, Djokovic presented his incredible mental strength, pulled the break back and earned another in game 12 to cross the finish line first and start a massive celebration.

Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal

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