*** ----> Djokovic celebrates 37th birthday with 1,100th win | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Djokovic celebrates 37th birthday with 1,100th win

AFP | Geneva, Switzerland

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Novak Djokovic celebrated his 37th birthday on Wednesday with the 1,100th win of his career as he gears up for his French Open title defence, progressing to the Geneva quarter-finals.

The world number one downed Germany's Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-3 in the second round at the Parc des EauxVives grounds. Djokovic becomes only the third man after Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer to reach the 1,100-win landmark. Djokovic took a wild card to play in Geneva in a bid to rescue an alarming dip in form ahead of next week's French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year.

His record this year is now 13 wins and five defeats, and he has yet to reach a tournament final in 2024. After beating Hanfmann, the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to Djokovic as a cake with candles was brought out onto the court. He lifted the cake and s h o w e d it off to the crowd, having a nibble before offering some to the ball boys and girls.

"The key was the birthday. My birthday probably wouldn't be the same if I didn't win the match," the Serb said. "It's nice to be here for the first time in this tournament and to have my family here coming to support as well.

I grew up with my aunt and my uncle and my two cousins for most of my life," he said, referring to his relatives who now live in Geneva. "We don't get a chance to see each other that much lately so it's really nice. I'm getting some really quality time on the court but also off the court. "Thank you so much for singing the 'Happy Birthday' song. That really touched me so I'm very happy to win on this special day."