Novak Djokovic

The top-seeded Novak Djokovic has secured his spot at the French Open after a convincing quarter-final win over Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.

Djokovic defeated the young Canadian 7-5 7-6 (7-1) to reach yet another semi-final in Rome, an ominous sign that he’s close to reaching his peak form.

Djokovic is now just one win away from becoming the first man to achieve 1000 wins on the ATP Tour. The Norwegian fifth seed Casper Ruud awaits him in the last four.

By reaching the semi-finals in Rome, the Serb also retained his World No.1 ranking and avoided surrendering the top spot to Russian Daniil Medvedev for the second time this year.

Djokovic and Auger-Aliassime were neck and neck until the Serb broke to lead 5-3, but the eighth seed fought back.

It proved only a blip, though, as Djokovic wrapped up the opening set in style with a booming forehand pass from the baseline that sent the crowd wild.

Djokovic applauded the 21-year-old Aliassime for his display of endurance in rallies but again fell behind 5-3, only to drag himself back into the contest.

Having forced a tiebreak, though, Aliassime was no match for Djokovic, who found another gear when required.

The Serb’s impressive win lit up social media, with many fans hailing it as his best performance of the year.

Novak Djokovic aiming for 1000th win in Casper Ruud showdown

The Serb will next take on Norway’s Ruud, who won a hard-fought match over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 on European clay.

“He has the lethal serve, honestly … It was not easy for me to return. He’s also returning well, moving well. He’s a complete player,” Djokovic told reporters.

“I was a set and 5-2, match point, serving for the match. Credit to him for fighting back. The amazing atmosphere as well tonight.”

Alexander Zverev remained on course for his first title of the season with a win over Cristian Garin in the quarterfinals. He will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.

Zverev, who won the title in Rome in 2017, eased into the last four with a 7-5 6-2 win.

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