'Novak Djokovic did not show up, but Jannik Sinner played great,' Mouratoglou states

Patrick Mouratoglou was impressed by Jannik Sinner's Australian Open performance

by Jovica Ilic
'Novak Djokovic did not show up, but Jannik Sinner played great,' Mouratoglou states
© Graham Denholm / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Patrick Mouratoglou was not surprised when Jannik Sinner claimed his first Major title at the Australian Open. The famous coach followed the Italian's rise closely, liking what he saw from him in the closing stages of 2023.

Sinner lost only two matches after the US Open, conquering two ATP titles and the Davis Cup for Italy. Jannik was ready to demonstrate his A-game at the beginning of 2024, lifting trophies in Melbourne and Rotterdam and hoping for more in Indian Wells.

Jannik scored two wins over Novak Djokovic at the end of 2023, which Mouratoglou recognized as a significant factor in his semi-final over the Serb in Melbourne. As we all know, Novak played below his level, but Jannik also pressured him with rock-solid tennis, doing everything right from start to finish.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Kelly Defina / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Two rivals battled for the third time within two months, and the young gun scored a convincing 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 triumph in three hours and 22 minutes, moving into his first Major final at 22.

Djokovic suffered his first loss in Melbourne after 33 straight wins, losing at his beloved Major for the first time after passing the quarter-final stage. Novak was far from his usual pace in Melbourne, dealing with a minor virus and struggling in the opening two rounds against Dino Prizmic and Alexei Popyrin.

He looked better versus Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Adrian Mannarino, reaching the quarter-final and embracing another challenging task. Djokovic took down Taylor Fritz in three hours and 45 minutes, standing at a terrible 0-15 on break points in the opening two sets before raising his level when the sun went down, delivering four breaks and arranging the Sinner clash.

Novak had nothing in his arsenal for another challenging battle, losing the opening two sets in no time and falling despite saving a match point in the third. Jannik outplayed Novak in every segment, dominating the shortest rallies up to four strokes and welcoming over 50 unforced errors from the defending champion.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Imahes Sport

Patrick Mouratoglou praised Jannik Sinner's performance vs. Novak Djokovic.

Sinner kept the pressure on the other side, never facing a break point and delivering Djokovic's worst performance in completed matches at Majors!

Novak could not follow the rival's pace, losing serve five times and ending his campaign in the semi-final. Armed with confidence and a desire to show his best tennis, Jannik kicked off the action with a break in game two thanks to a forehand drive-volley winner.

The young gun cemented the break with a service winner in game three and earned another break chance in the next one. Novak denied it with a forehand winner and held, reducing the deficit to 3-1. Djokovic missed a backhand in the sixth game, experiencing another break and falling 5-1 behind.

Sinner served for the opener in game seven and forced Djokovic's mistake for 6-1 in 35 minutes. Novak landed it 75% of the first serve in the second set, but it brought him nothing! Jannik dropped a couple of points behind the initial shot and delivered two breaks that sent him further in front.

The Serb missed a backhand in the third game and suffered an early break. The Italian cemented the lead with a service winner in the next one, leaving the world's best player far behind. Novak played a loose forehand in the seventh game, losing serve and finding himself 5-2 down.

Jannik served for the set in game eight and held after deuce, building a massive advantage and moving closer to the finish line.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2024© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Djokovic survived a break point at the beginning of the third set and recovered his game a bit, at least in his games.

Sinner held at 15 in game eight for 4-4 and repeated that two games later to extend the battle. Novak closed the 11th game after deuces, and Jannik held at 15 in the next one with a smash winner, introducing a tie break. Sinner came from 2-4 and landed a forehand winner for 5-4.

Djokovic grabbed the tenth point with a lob winner before facing a match point after Sinner's booming serve. Novak denied it with a forced error and clinched the tie break 8-6, extending the battle and his chances after two and a half hours.

Sinner left that chance behind and returned to his usual pace in the fourth set. The Italian wasted two break points in the second game. Still, he pushed strong at 0-40 in the fourth game, erasing Novak's game points and clinching a crucial break when the defending champion placed a backhand long.

Jannik held after rare deuces in the fifth game, firing a service winner and opening a 4-1 gap. Sinner grabbed the seventh game at love with a fine serve & volley combo, forcing Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. Novak prolonged the action with a hold at love in game eight, and Jannik served for the victory at 5-3.

The Italian landed two powerful serves at 15-30, creating a match point. The young gun sealed the deal with a forehand winner, wrapping up an incredible performance and sailing into the final.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Handout / Handout - Getty Images Sport

"At the end of 2023, I sensed this could be Jannik's year.

He beat Novak twice in the closing stages of 2023, which helped him win a Major. His Australian Open title came as no surprise. Jannik delivered his best tennis when he needed it. Novak did not show up in their semi-final duel, but Jannik played like he was supposed to," Patrick Mouratoglou said.

Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner Patrick Mouratoglou