Djokovic Returns to Rome in Pursuit of His 1100th Career Victory

At the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Novak Djokovic will look to get off to a strong start as he pursues his first championship of the year. The top seed feels relaxed and prepared for action in Rome because she hasn’t competed since making it to the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo last month.

“I had plenty of time to rest and train. Had a good training block,” Djokovic remarked on Wednesday at his pre-tournament press conference. “I arrived here two days ago to get a hit on the centre court, as well, obviously stay four or five days training before my first match with top players.”

Obviously, training with them makes a difference. You get to assess where you stand in terms of form and play practice sets to see where you are at before the first game. I hope to improve on my performance in Monte-Carlo by playing here in Rome. Of course, everyone wants to succeed and reach great heights.

A strong run will solidify Djokovic’s ranking at the top of the PIF ATP Rankings. His nearest rivals, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, are both out for the ATP Masters 1000 event owing to injury. Djokovic is hoping to win his 1100th tour-level match in the Italian capital.

The 36-year-old’s best result in 2024 was reaching the Australian Open semifinals. He now has an 11-4 record. Djokovic hasn’t won a championship this season for just the second time in the last six years as he travels to Rome.

The Nenad Zimonjic-coached Serbian has been putting in a lot of work off the court in an effort to turn around his performance at the clay-court competition.

“I am working currently with a fitness coach that I worked with for many years. It didn’t take much time to adapt to his programme and approach,”  said Djokovic, “We know each other really well. That’s why I feel like we’re synchronised from the very beginning in terms of what we want to do, how we want to approach the programme of training on and off the court. With Nenad [Zimonjic] of course, as well.

“I’m pleased with the way the past 10 days, 14 days went in terms of training, in terms of preparation and looking ahead to this tournament.”

Six-time Rome winner Djokovic will begin his campaign on Friday against either Roman Safiullin or Corentin Moutet, a lucky loser from France. In their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, the seven-time Nitto ATP Finals champion Djokovic leads Safiullin 2-0 and has the upper hand over Moutet, 1-0.

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