World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Caspar Rudd in straight sets to secure his place in the final of the Italian Open and register his 1,000th career victory.
Djokovic led 4-0, Rudd, world number 10, briefly backing his own break at 5-3, but could not save the slippery set.
The second set proved to be very close, staying on the server until the seventh game when Djokovic finally converted a fourth break-point chance.
Novak Djokovic was awarded a cake number 1,000 after his historic victory
A comfortable hold led the Serbians to a historic victory, which they took to the next break, beating the forehand crosscourt return 6-4, 6-3 to reach the final on Sunday, where they will play Stefanos Sitsipas.
Djokovic said: ‘Thank you to the tournament and the spectators for celebrating the milestone with me. Clearly, I have seen Roger and Rafa celebrate those milestones over the last two years. I myself was eager to get that thousand. I am truly blessed to have so many victories on the tour.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played my first game, since I won the first game of the tour. I hope I can continue. ‘
After the clash of the two sets, the Serbs traditionally celebrated in wild fashion
Novak Djokovic and Caspar Rudd have embraced the Serb after reaching the final on Sunday
Earlier, World No. 5 Seatsipas defeated third seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
German Zverev took an early lead by converting to the only break point of the opening set, before Citcipas struggled to strengthen the referee.
In the next break of the fifth game, the Greeks seemed to maintain the momentum of a hard-fought victory in the two-and-a-half hours at Foro Italico.
Stefanos Tsitsipas greets Alexander Zverev after his Greek arrival in the semifinals
In the WTA tournament, defending champion Iga Svitek defeated Ariana Sabalenka in straight sets to extend her winning streak to 27 games and book a place in the final where she will play Ons Jabeur.
Poland’s World No. 1 became the first player since Simona Halep to reach four WTA 1000 finals in the same season in 2017, leading 6-2, 6-1 against No. 8 seed.
“In these competitions where we play every day, we don’t have time to celebrate. “Once we’ve finished the previous game, we have to think about the next one,” the 20-year-old said in a post-match interview.
World number one Iga Sweetek joins the crowd after reaching the final of the Italian Open
“It’s very difficult, but I know I’m going to be proud of myself. I’m always wondering if I can do better and better. ‘
Jabeur needed three sets to beat Russia’s Daria Kasatkina, eventually saving the game 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
Ninth-seeded Jabeur is looking to win the WTA title for the second time in a row since claiming the Madrid Open last week.
Ons Jabeur played backhand against Daria Kasatkina, who will eventually decide the final game with Svitek, beating the Russians.
Those hopes seemed to be dashed when Kasatkina took a 5-4 lead in the final, but Jabeur regained his career-best run to extend to 11 consecutive wins.
“It’s never easy to play against Kasatkina. I know this surface type suits him very well because it’s slow and he likes it. “She was OK.
“It was difficult for me not to get 100 percent there, so I am very happy to win and reach the final again.
‘I’m tired, yes, but it’s part of my job. This will help me push more tomorrow. There is only one game left. ‘