Youthful Brilliance: Jannik Sinner Mirrors Novak Djokovic at Australian Open

Jannik Sinner is the youngest Australian Open finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2008

by Jovica Ilic
Youthful Brilliance: Jannik Sinner Mirrors Novak Djokovic at Australian Open
© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

After a couple of deep runs at Majors, Jannik Sinner got the pieces together at the beginning of 2024. In a breakthrough performance at this year's Australian Open, Sinner showcased his prowess on the grand stage. The Italian, at 22 years and five months, secured a spot in the title clash, making him the youngest Melbourne Park finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2008.

Sinner's journey included victories over six opponents, with an impressive five of them coming in straight sets, demonstrating his growing confidence as he progressed to the semi-final. Facing world no. 1 Novak Djokovic in a fierce battle for a place in the final, Jannik brought his A-game, securing a remarkable 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 triumph in a captivating three hours and 22 minutes.

Novak Djokovic & Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

This marked Sinner's third victory over Djokovic in their last four encounters, a testament to his rising stature in the tennis world.

Sinner's fearless approach, coupled with evident desire and determination, made Novak Djokovic appear ordinary on the court. Sinner denied Djokovic any break chances, maintaining relentless pressure. Djokovic himself described his performance as one of his worst at Majors, committing over 50 unforced errors and losing serve five times from 11 opportunities provided by his opponent.

While Djokovic fought valiantly in the third set and fended off a match point, Sinner's unyielding focus and belief in his abilities secured his notable victory.

Jannik Sinner is the youngest Australian Open finalist since Novak Djokovic.

The Italian outplayed Djokovic in crucial areas, especially dominating in the shortest exchanges of up to four strokes, demonstrating a comprehensive and well-deserved triumph.

The young gun made a reliable start, serving well and delivering an early break in game two with a forehand drive-volley winner. Novak saved another break point in the fourth game with a forehand winner, getting his name on the scoreboard.

Sinner made another push on the return in the fifth game, welcoming Djokovic's backhand error and opening a 5-1 advantage. Jannik served for the set in game seven, drawing Novak's forehand mistake and wrapping up the opener 6-1 in a commanding 35 minutes.

Djokovic landed in 75% of the first serve in the second set, but it could not keep him safe.

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

The defending champion stood powerless on the return and could not respond in his games after getting broken two times.

The Serb lost serve after a backhand error in the third game and fell 3-1 behind after the Italian's powerful serve in the next one. Novak faced more issues behind the initial shot in the seventh game, spraying a forehand error and getting broken for the second time.

Sinner drew Djokovic's error in the eighth game, producing another commanding hold and opening a 6-1, 6-2 lead in an hour and 13 minutes. The third set saw the only drama, with Novak saving a break point in the first game and serving better in the remaining ones.

There were no more chances for the returners in the rest of the set, with Sinner introducing a tie break with a smash winner in game 12.

Sinner© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Novak moved 4-2 up before Jannik erased the deficit and hit a service winner at 5-5 for a match point.

Djokovic saved it and clinched the breaker 8-6 after Sinner's backhand error, prolonging the battle and his chances. Never losing his confidence, Jannik stood strong in his games in the fourth set, challenging Novak to follow that pace.

The Serb saved three break points in the second game and faced more troubles after squandering a 40-0 lead at 1-2. Djokovic offered Sinner a break point with a double fault and hit a loose backhand to fall 3-1 behind. The upcoming games brought solid serving from both players, and Novak extended the duel with a hold at love at 2-5.

Sinner served for his career-best victory in game nine and landed two powerful serves at 15-30. The Italian painted a forehand down the line winner on a match point, celebrating a notable win and booking a place in the title clash.

Jannik Sinner Novak Djokovic Australian Open