Novak Djokovic classy in defeat: 'Leave my injury aside and talk about Alex'

Novak Djokovic struggled with his right wrist against Alex de Minaur

by Jovica Ilic
Novak Djokovic classy in defeat: 'Leave my injury aside and talk about Alex'
© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Alex de Minaur scored his career-best victory over world no. 1 Novak Djokovic at the United Cup in Perth. The Aussie defeated the Serb 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 33 minutes, outplaying the world's best player on serve and return.

Novak had to deal with the pain in his right wrist, struggling to properly serve or hit his forehand. However, Djokovic remained classy in defeat, refusing to discuss the injury too much and praising de Minaur and his performance.

Alex played aggressive tennis, determined to challenge Novak after taking only five games against him in Melbourne last year. The home favorite grabbed 33 out of 34 points behind the first serve, never facing a break point and maintaining the pressure on the other side.

Djokovic played a couple of challenging service games, losing serve once in each set and accepting his defeat. Novak landed a backhand down the line winner in the encounter's first game, and Alex followed the rival's pace with two fine holds.

The Aussie won two points on the return in the fifth game before the Serb closed it with two winners, opening a 3-2 advantage. De Minaur responded nicely in game six, winning a thrilling point at the net and remaining on the positive side.

Novak Djokovic fell to Alex de Minaur in straight sets at the United Cup.

Djokovic faced problems in the seventh game after being 40-15 in front. World no. 1 struggled to find free points from his initial shot or make the difference with his forehand.

Novak played against two break points, saving them and firing a service winner for 4-3. Alex left those chances behind and served well in game eight. The Aussie was ready for another charge on the return in game nine, and this time, he broke the Serb's resistance.

Novak faced three break points and sprayed a forehand mistake on the second, pushing his rival 5-4 in front. De Minaur served well in game ten, holding at 15 and moving in front after 49 minutes.

Alex de Minaur, United Cup 2024© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak could not do much on the return early in the second set, but he still fought and reached 3-3.

Djokovic squandered a 40-15 lead and offered de Minaur a break point after a tired backhand. Novak hit a double fault, falling 4-3 behind and sealing his fate after not playing at his best due to physical issues. Alex held at love in game eight and served for the victory at 5-4.

De Minaur landed a forehand down the line winner for three match points, and Djokovic erased them en route to his first deuce on the return. Alex stayed calm and seized the fourth match point after Novak's backhand error, earning his career-best triumph.

"I do not want to talk about the injury too much and take anything away from Alex. He was very solid, and I congratulate him," Novak Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic Alex De Minaur