'Novak Djokovic was right about Jannik Sinner,' Alex de Minaur admits

Alex de Minaur praised Jannik Sinner after losing to his in Malaga

by Jovica Ilic
'Novak Djokovic was right about Jannik Sinner,' Alex de Minaur admits
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

The 22-year-old Jannik Sinner embraced a career-best run in 2023, winning four ATP titles and delivering 64 ATP wins. The Italian finished in the top-4, placing himself in a perfect position to challenge Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz for the ATP throne in 2024.

Sinner scored 20 wins from 22 matches after the US Open, earning two triumphs over Novak Djokovic and wrapping up the year on a high note. Djokovic mentioned Sinner's confidence after one of their duels, and Alex de Minaur acknowledged that following a heavy loss against the Italian in the Davis Cup title clash.

Jannik ousted Alex 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 21 minutes, delivering Italy's first Davis Cup crown since 1976! Sinner claimed over half of the return points, turning them into five breaks from ten chances. De Minaur never stood as a serious opponent, allowing Sinner to wrap up a perfect week with a bagel.

Jannik met world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, battling to keep his country in contention. The Serb created three match points in the decider's tenth game before the Italian prevailed 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, keeping Italy alive ahead of the doubles duel.

Each player dominated in one set ahead of the decider, staying neck and neck. Novak squandered his chances and experienced a late break, missing an opportunity to propel Serbia into the final. Jannik made a perfect start, dropping five points behind the initial shot and keeping the pressure on Novak.

World no. 1 lost serve two times in a row, allowing his rival to open a 6-2 gap in 37 minutes. Djokovic responded like a true champion in the second set, serving well and losing four points in his games.

Novak Djokovic and Alex de Minaur praised Jannik Sinner.

Sinner failed to follow his level from the opener, losing serve two times and hoping for a better run in the decider. The young gun survived a thriller in the second game, repelling a break point and seven deuces and staying on the positive side.

Novak served well, hoping for more return chances. He created one in the eighth game, and Jannik denied it with a drive-volley winner. Djokovic played well on the return at 5-4, earning three match points. The Italian stayed calm and saved them with brave hitting, holding with two service winners and gaining a massive boost.

Sinner earned a break point in game 11 and seized it with a forehand winner, opening a 6-5 gap and serving for the victory. Jannik captured the first match point in the 12th game, celebrating his second win over Novak within ten days and keeping Italy alive.

"Novak Djokovic mentioned a few weeks ago that Jannik rides this incredible wave of confidence. He is using indoor conditions to impose heavy balls and hit the absolute crap out of them. His level is seriously impressive," Alex de Minaur said.

Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner Alex De Minaur