Novak Djokovic won his 38th Masters 1000 title in Rome by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. The Serb produced a fine display of tennis at the Italian Open and did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
By virtue of his semi-final victory over Casper Ruud in Rome, Djokovic achieved a very special milestone, his 1000th career win.
Over the years, we have seen several great players grace the court, dazzle spectators and leave behind a lasting legacy. However, only a handful have won more than 1,000 matches.
All-time greats like Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe could not manage the feat. Some came close, like Guillermo Vilas, who won 951 matches, and Ilie Nastase, who had 908 wins. Among modern players, Andy Murray has won 703 matches, but it will take a miracle for him to get to the 1,000 mark given he is at the back end of his career.
Only five players have managed to register 1,000 career wins in the Open Era. Let's take a detailed look at who they are:
#1 Jimmy Connors (1,274)
One of the all-time greats, Jimmy Connors still has a few Open Era records to his name. This includes the most career wins (1,274). He was the first player to record 1,000 wins, doing so in 1984 after defeating Tom Gullikson in the third round in Los Angeles. The American played a whopping 1,557 matches in total, more than any other player in the Open Era.
Connors has also won the highest number of singles titles among male players (109). This includes eight Grand Slam titles. He won the Australian Open in 1974, Wimbledon in 1974 and 1982, and the US Open five times (1974, 1976, 1978, 1982 and 1983). Connors never won the French Open, having reached the semifinals on four occasions.
#2 Ivan Lendl (1,068)
Ivan Lendl became the second player to register 1,000 career wins after defeating Brett Steven 7-5, 7-5 at the Australian Indoor Championships in Sydney in 1992.
The Czech-American finished his career with 1,068 wins from 1,310 matches, with a win percentage of 81.5%. Lendl won 94 singles titles, including eight Grand Slams. The only Major that he failed to win was Wimbledon, having reached the final in 1986 and 1987, losing to Boris Becker and Pat Cash respectively.
Nonetheless, Lendl has gone down in history as one of the all-time greats.
#3 Roger Federer (1,251)
The Swiss maestro is the only player on this list who notched up his 1000th win in the final of a tournament. Federer defeated Milos Raonic in the title clash of the 2015 Brisbane International to notch up his 1000th career win.
The 40-year-old now has the second-highest number of wins in the Open Era (1,251 from 1,526 matches). Federer is just 23 wins short of Connors and will fancy his chances of breaking the American's record in the near future.
#4 Rafael Nadal (1,051)
Nadal attained his 1000th win in 2020 by defeating Feliciano Lopez in the second round of the Paris Masters. He went on to reach the semifinals of the tournament before losing to Alexander Zverev.
The 35-year-old currently has 1,051 victories from 1,263 matches, giving him a win percentage of 83.2%, the highest for any player with over 500 wins in the Open Era.
While Connors' record (1,274) is still a long way away, Nadal will be confident of surpassing Lendl's tally (1,068) in the near future.
#5 Novak Djokovic (1,001)
The current World No. 1 is the most recent addition to the 1000-wins club. He is also the oldest player to attain the feat at 34 years and 358 days. Djokovic racked up his 1000th victory against Casper Ruud in the semifinals of the 2022 Italian Open and went on to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
The Serb has a win percentage of 83.1%, a smidge behind Nadal. Provided Djokovic can maintain his fitness over the next few years, there is every chance he could end his career with the highest number of wins.
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