World No. 1, Novak Djokovic beat Greek professional Stefanos Tsitsipas ( 4-6, 7-5, 7-5) in the Italian Open 2021 to seal his spot in the semi-final on Saturday.
Tsitsipas, who is the youngest player ranked in the top 10 by the Association of Tennis Professionals gave a tough fight and at times was ahead in the game, having won the first set comfortably.
Djokovic, however, came back strongly in the second set and the game was in the balance with both players trying to take home the advantage going into the third set.
A match worthy of a final, Djokovic survived by the smallest of margins winning the final set and with that a spot in the semis.
The top-ranked Serb seemed to have enjoyed every moment of his 6-2, 6-1 win over Spanish qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina that put him in the Italian Open quarterfinals.
After spectators were banned from the opening rounds of the Rome tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic, capacity was at 25% on Thursday as part of the Italian government’s re-opening plan.
“It was not good, it was great. I missed the crowd as much as anybody else one of the biggest reasons why I keep on playing.”, Djokovic said.
“So it was nice to see them back and hopefully I can stay in this tournament an extra day to experience the crowd more and more. They definitely gave me great sensations today on the court and I enjoyed it,” the Serbian added.
Djokovic often trains with Davidovich Fokina in Marbella, Spain. Perhaps that familiarity helped Davidovich Fokina break the top-ranked Djokovic in the opening game.