In one of the most anticipated opening day games at Melbourne Park, 11th seed Denis Shapovalov defeated the world's most promising teenager Jannik Sinner after an epic battle. The Canadian defeated the Italian 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in three hours and 55 minutes and advanced to the second round in Melbourne for the third time in four years.
Jannik claimed the second ATP title a few days before this match, beating four rivals in three days and spending many hours on the court. Despite that, Sinner had Shapovalov race for victory in the first Major of the season, pushing him to the limit for nearly four hours and earning just eight points less than Denis.
The Canadian was a more aggressive player, churning out 62 winners and 71 unforced errors and leaving a teenager at a more modest 26-44 ratio. Jannik certainly had his chances, but he had to play better on break opportunities to cause a surprise, converting just three of 20!
Denis was most efficient in that department, delivering five breaks of ten chances to prevail and reach the second round. There was nothing to separate them in the shorter and more advanced exchanges. Shapovalov made the difference in mid-range rallies, along with that impressive performance as he faced break points.
Novak Djokovic is one of the greatest players of this generation, if not the greatest. With 20 Grand Slams, 86 ATP Singles titles, 5 ATP Finals titles, the Serbian has achieved almost everything there is to achieve in the sport.
Djokovic has won a record 37 ATP Masters titles
Matteo Berrettini knew as much as almost anyone else about Novak Djokovic on the ATP tour in 2021. “Novak [Djokovic] is much better than me, he is an absolute champion,” Berrettini admitted in an interview.
“He has never done anything against me, other than the fact that I hate him because he always beats me every time we play. Of course I’m kidding about hate. He is in the history of our sport and he deserves to have all the records he is claiming”.
The Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award represents fairness- respecting the rules, the umpires’ decisions and above all, your opponent. It is the players themselves who vote for this prestigious award. Swiss Roger Federer currently holds a record 13 Sportsmanship Awards, followed only by Rafael Nadal’s 4 on this side of the century.
However, quite surprisingly, Novak Djokovic has only secured one nomination for the prize. Not only has he not won the Sportsmanship Award ever, but he has also not been nominated, barring 2011.