Djokovic on verge of ATP Masters 1000 history in Rome: "These are the events where I want to perform my best other than Grand Slams"

Novak Djokovic is looking to claim a record breaking 36th ATP Masters 1000 title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia Rome after seeing off Casper Ruud to make it into the final where he will face Diego Schwartzman.

For Djokovic, the motivation is very much still there to perform at the highest level and that he always has his sights set on these tournaments.

“These are the biggest tournaments we have on our ATP Tour,” Djokovic said. “Obviously the Masters 1000 events are as important as it gets on the Tour. These are the events where I want to perform my best other than Grand Slams and the [Nitto ATP ] Finals.”

“[Making the] final at such a big event means a lot even after 15 years of being on the Tour. I still am as motivated [as ever] to get my hands on the trophy,” Djokovic added. “This is what I work for as much as anybody else on the Tour. Of course as the time passes by, the tougher it gets.”

In terms of facing Schwartzman, Djokovic said that in a tournament which has included Rafael Nadal, it will be strange but that he deserves his place.

“Most of the finals that I reached in the big events on clay I played against Rafa,” Djokovic said. “So it's going to be strange not facing him, but at the same time, Diego and Denis have deservedly reached the semi-finals. Let's see who I get to face. But whoever I get to face, I'll try to do my best and win the trophy.”

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