'Words cannot describe it' - Novak Djokovic pays tribute to Serena Williams on her 1,000th match
World number one Novak Djokovic has congratulated the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams for reaching her 1,000 professional match. The American faced Nadia Podoroska in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday, going on to lose in what was her first competitive match since Naomi Osaka won their semi-final at the Australian Open.
Djokovic congratulates Serena on 1000 career matches
Published 12/05/2021 at 15:40 GMT | Updated 12/05/2021 at 16:52 GMT
Novak Djokovic has paid tribute to Serena Williams after the American tennis legend reached 1,000th professional matches.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion lost the landmark match to Nadia Podoroska - who won 7-6 7-5 - in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday, in what was her first competitive match since she lost out to eventual Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka in their semi-final in Melbourne.
Djokovic lauded the impact that Williams has had on both men's and women's tennis and described her as "an icon to this sport" and an inspiration.
As for Djokovic, it was a contrast of emotions after he was left furious with the umpire for not suspending play during his rain-affected Italian Open second-round match against Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.
"How much do you wanna play?," the 33-year-old shouted at umpire Nacho Forcadell. "I asked you three times, you are not checking anything."
The match was eventually suspended for three hours before Djokovic went on to secure a 6-3 7-6(5) victory.
"It's not the first time or probably the last that I'm going to experience such conditions," Djokovic told Amazon Prime Video.
"And even with that much experience behind me I still get upset and lose my cool. But it's okay. At the end of the day these are great lessons - I will try and take away some important things from this day."
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