Novak Djokovic did something he's never done before in Australian Open defeat to Jannik Sinner
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Novak Djokovic did something he had never done before during his clash against Jannik Sinner.
On Friday morning, all eyes were on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne as the semi-finals of the 2024 Australian Open men’s singles took centre stage.
10-time champion Djokovic was up against 22-year-old fourth seed Sinner in what was a mouth-watering encounter.
Despite Djokovic’s stunning record in Australia, it was Sinner who managed to secure a place in Sunday’s final after a brilliant 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6-8), 6-3 victory.
The defeat by Sinner also ended Djokovic’s 33-match unbeaten run at the Australian Open, dating back to 2018 when he lost to South Korea's Chung Hyeon in the fourth round.
Sinner will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev in the final.
During the match, Djokovic did something he had never done before in a major.
For the first time in his illustrious career, the Serbian failed to earn a single break point in a completed Grand Slam match.
Djokovic is widely regarded as the best returner of serve in the history of the men's game, which makes that stat even harder to believe.
Speaking after becoming the first Italian to reach the final in Melbourne, Sinner said: “It was very, very tough. I felt like [Djokovic] wasn't feeling that great so I kept pushing. I just tried to be ready for the fourth set, which I started off really, really well.
“The confidence from the end of last season has, for sure, kept the belief I can play against the best players in the world and I'm really happy I can play in my first final.”
He added: “I learned a lot from that defeat at Wimbledon and it is all part of the process.”
Djokovic said during his press conference that he is looking forward to the rest of the 2024 season despite this early disappointment.
He said: “I still have high hopes, you know, for other slams, Olympics, and whatever tournaments that I'll play. It's just the beginning of the season. It's not the feeling that I'm used to. I mean, it kind of has been incredibly satisfying for me, you know, to start off most of my seasons with a Grand Slam win and never lose in semis or finals of the Australian Open.
“So this time it's a bit different, but it is what it is. Let's see. I don't know. This tournament hasn't been, as I said, up to my standard or criteria or the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but doesn't necessarily mean that it's the beginning of the end, you know, as some people like to call it. Yeah, let's see what happens in the rest of the season.”