Watch: Novak Djokovic's Slam Dunk Spectacle - Rod Laver Arena Memories

Novak Djokovic spent a great Thursday night in Melbourne

by Jovica Ilic
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Watch: Novak Djokovic's Slam Dunk Spectacle - Rod Laver Arena Memories
© Graham Denholm / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Ten-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic had a great time at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night. World no. 1 played against Stefanos Tsitsipas and joined forces with Aryna Sabalenka in the mixed doubles clash versus Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari.

Also, Djokovic experienced wheelchair tennis, played cricket, ran against Peter Bol, and scored a dunk after assistance from Alan Williams! Novak will face a qualifier in the first round at the Australian Open, starting his 19th Melbourne Park campaign and seeking his 11th title.

Djokovic was a player to beat in 2023, conquering three Major titles from four finals and adding two Masters 1000 crowns and the ATP Finals trophy. Thus, the 36-year-old Serb secured his eighth year-end no. 1 honor ahead of Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic kicked off the 2024 season at the United Cup, trying to win the team title for Serbia. Novak played his first match of the season against Zhizhen Zhang, beating the Chinese 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 14 minutes.

Novak Djokovic stole the show at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night.

World no.

1 dropped ten points behind the initial shot, never facing a break point and delivering three breaks to control the scoreboard. Djokovic had to work harder in the second match against Jiri Lehecka, earning a 6-1, 6-7, 6-1 triumph.

Novak played well in sets one and three. However, he felt the pain in his right wrist, asking for a medical timeout in set number two and worrying his fans. Djokovic made a fresh start in the decider, breaking the rival's resistance and earning a point for Serbia.

The world's best player faced the home star Alex de Minaur in the quarter-final and suffered a 6-4, 6-4 loss. Novak struggled with his wrist before and during the clash, unable to bring his A-game on serve and while hitting a forehand.

Novak Djokovic, Rod Laver Arena 2024© Graham Denholm / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

De Minaur presented his best tennis, attacking and stealing Djokovic's serve once in each set to make the difference. Novak barely won a point behind the rival's first serve, missing his chances in a couple of service games and finishing on the losing side in Australia for the first time since 2018!

Luckily for world no. 1, the wrist issues are not that serious, with Djokovic traveling to Melbourne and practicing without problems. Novak enjoyed a great night at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday, a couple of days ahead of his first test at the Australian Open.

In last year's final, Novak took down Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 in the title clash after a massive battle, keeping his perfect score in the Australian Open finals.

Novak Djokovic Rod Laver Arena Rod Laver
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