Jannik Sinner ousts Novak Djokovic in Australian Open semis

League: Tennis

Posted on: 26 Jan, 2024 at 07:31 AM

Credit: Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Jannik Sinner is through to his first career Grand Slam final, and he got there in style.

The fourth-seeded Italian upset top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3 in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne.

Sinner, 22, never faced a break point in the victory. He moves on to oppose either third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia or sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany in the title match on Sunday.

Sinner's best previous result in a major tournament was an appearance at the Wimbledon semifinals last year. He also lost to Djokovic in the championship match of the year-end ATP Finals last November after beating Djokovic in the round-robin portion of the event.

Djokovic, 36, was chasing his 11th Australian Open title. He hadn't lost a match in Melbourne since 2018, winning four of the next five titles and missing out only in 2022 when he was deported from Australia for being unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Last year, Djokovic won the Australian Open, French Open and U.S. Open, missing out on a calendar-year Grand Slam only by falling in the Wimbledon final in a five-set match against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz.

Sinner rolled through the first two sets, and Djokovic saved the lone break point of the third set in the opening game. Sinner had a match point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker, but Djokovic won that point and the next two to extend the match.

Sinner broke serve for a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, then served out the 3-hour, 22-minute match.

"It was a very, very tough match," Sinner said in his postmatch interview on court. "For like two sets, I felt like he was not feeling that well on court, so I just tried to (keep) pushing. Then in the third set, I had match points and I missed the forehand. But this is tennis. I just try to be ready also for the next set, which I started off really well. And obviously the atmosphere was so great to play here.

"I was looking forward to this match. It's always nice to have this kind of player ... you can learn from. I lost last year (to him) in the semis at Wimbledon and I learned a lot from that. It's all part of the process."

--Field Level Media