Novak Djokovic was furious about his shock Australian Open semi-final defeat to Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner; “I was, in a way, surprised by my age, in a bad way. I think this is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I have ever played. At least that I remember”
9:24, UK, Friday 26 January 2024
Novak Djokovic admitted he was “scared” of his level after playing “one of the worst matches” of the Grand Slam in his Australian Open semi-final exit to Jannik Sinner.
An error-prone Djokovic won just three games in the opening two sets and despite holding a point in the third set, there was no impressive comeback for the 10-time champion in Melbourne, as Sinner won 6-1. 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 win.
Djokovic, who has not lost here since losing in the fourth round to Hyeon Chung amid elbow problems in 2018, will have to lick his wounds.
Was it written in the stars?
On July 16, 2023, Carlos Alcaraz broke Djokovic’s streak at Wimbledon after 2,195 days.
On January 26, 2024, Jannik Sinner broke Djokovic’s streak at the Australian Open after 2,195 days.
The result was, of course, a shock given Djokovic’s record here – this is the first time he has ever lost past the quarters – but it was the Serb’s performance that was most impressive with 54 unforced errors and failures. create a single resting place.
“I want to thank Sinner for playing the best match so far,” said Djokovic. “He deserves to be in the finals. He outplayed me today.
The tournament wasn’t up to my level or the level I like to play or hope to play, but that doesn’t mean it’s the beginning of the end as some people want it to be.
Look, I was, in a way, surprised by my level badly. There wasn’t much I was doing in the first two classes.
“I think this is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I’ve ever played, that I can remember.
“Not the best feeling to play like this. But at the same time credit to him for doing everything better than me in every aspect of the game.”
Djokovic battled illness at the start of the fortnight and made his way through to the last four more difficult than usual, losing three sets along the way despite his best performance against Adrian Mannarino coming from a three-game deficit in the fourth round.
“The whole tournament I never played my approach,” admitted the world No. 1. “The match against Mannarino was good, but in most matches I don’t play as well as I usually do here in Australia.
“So in a way it surprised me, because I thought it wouldn’t be too bad in the first two sets. But on the other hand, I didn’t feel myself on the court in this match.
“One can say that the semi-finals is a good result but I always expect the best for myself, and it was not meant to be today.”
Once upon a time, once upon a time…
The last time Djokovic didn’t break a Grand Slam match (not including retirement or layoff) was at the 2006 US Open (Lleyton Hewitt).
The Serbian added that he still has “high hopes” for the rest of the season and the chance to win a record 25th Grand Slam.
“It’s just the beginning of the season,” said the 36-year-old.
“So this time it’s changed a little bit, but that’s the way it is. Let’s see. This tournament is not at my level or the level that I like to play or expect to play, but it’s not going to happen. I mean it’s the beginning of the end as some people like to call it.
“Let’s see what happens the rest of the season.”
Watch the WTA and ATP Tours in 2024 on Sky Sports. Watch tennis and more with Sports Month Membership NOW