Novak Djokovic will continue his quest for a sixth Italian Open title when he takes on Casper Ruud in the semi-finals on Saturday (6.30pm, UK time).
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When it comes to Italian Open titles only Rafael Nadal (10) has won more than world number one Novak Djokovic who is looking to reach a third consecutive final. In fact, since winning his first Italian Open in 2008, Djokovic has missed just four finals. He entered the 2022 Italian Open as top seed and took a bye into the second round, where he faced Aslan Karatsev, beating him 6-3 6-2. It was another straight set success against Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round, winning 6-2 6-2. Djokovic was made to work for his quarter-final success over Felix Auger-Aliassime, winning 7-5 7-6 (7-1). The victory means Djokovic has now reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open for nine straight years, last missing out in 2013 when he bowed out in the quarter-finals.
Casper Ruud was one one of the top eight seeds coming into this tournament. It meant the Norwegian earned a bye into the second round but it wasn’t any straightforward as Ruud was taken to three sets by Botic van de Zandschulp, ultimately winning 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4. His third round encounter with American Jenson Brooksby was more comfortable as he ran out a 6-3 6-4 winner. Next up was a quarter-final date with Denis Shapovalov, though Rudd claimed another straight set victory, the Canadian pushed him to the limit, Ruud winning 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 to set up another showdown with Djokovic. They previously met at this stage in 2020 with Djokovic coming out on top. Rudd, 23, has only reached one ATP Masters 1000 final, it came this year in Miami where Carlos Alcaraz defeated him, 7-5 6-4.