Novak Djokovic sets up Ruud clash in Rome with win over Auger-Aliassime
Novak Djokovic played a measured match to take down Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-5 7-6(1) and move on to the Rome semifinal where Casper Ruud awaits.
Djokovic did not show too much this week in Rome but he did just enough to reach the quarterfinal. His toughest matchup came in the semifinal against Auger-Aliassime and he needed a higher gear to get past him. True to his style Djokovic produced just enough to do that. Auger started off well and he even had an early break point which Djokovic saved.
The Serbian did find a breakthrough at 4-3 taking a 5-3 lead but he allowed Auger another chance and this time around the Canadian took it. He to the score to 5-5 but a tiny lapse in focus at 5-6 gave Djokovic some break chances and this time around there was no coming back from it. 7-5 to the Serbian and we went into the second set.
The 2nd set went similarly to the start of the first one. Both were focused and both were winning service games rather easily. At 3-2, Djokovic needed several break point as Auger battled hard but the Serbian eventually got the 4-2 lead. He was forced to save break points in the next game as Felix made a last stand but timely serving and smart play secured the 5-2 lead.
Identically to the first set, Djokovic failed to serve it out and Auger battled back to 5-5. The duo selected to selected it in the tiebreak with Novak completely outplaying his opponent winning it 7-1. The win ensures he remains world number one and he will enter Roland Garros as the top seed.