Breaking Down Novak Djokovic's Defeat: Tim Henman's Analysis of Unheard Facts

Novak Djokovic suffered a heavy Australian Open loss to Jannik Sinner

by Jovica Ilic
Breaking Down Novak Djokovic's Defeat: Tim Henman's Analysis of Unheard Facts
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

After ten successful Australian Open semi-final campaigns, Novak Djokovic fell on the 11th obstacle. The Serb lost the title following a heavy 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 loss to an eventual champion Jannik Sinner, suffering his first post-quarter-final defeat at Melbourne Park.

Tim Henman praised Sinner's performance, remarking he offered nothing to Djokovic. Also, the Briton highlighted the crucial facts behind Novak's defeat, noting his terrible return performance and too many errors. For Henman, Djokovic's struggle in the return games was unheard of, failing to generate a break point in a complete match for the first time at Majors!

Also, Novak sprayed over 50 unforced errors, describing his performance as one of the worst at Majors. Sinner produced his A-game right from the start, playing confidently and ending Djokovic's streak of 33 consecutive wins at Melbourne Park.

The Italian played well behind the first and second serve, taming his strokes nicely and hitting 31 winners and 28 unforced errors. The Serb could not follow that pace, playing too many loose shots and getting broken five times from 11 chances offered to his rival.

Novak never gave up despite an evident struggle, fending off a match point in the third set and hoping for another marvelous comeback. However, Sinner felt too confident that day, starting all over in the fourth set and bringing the victory home with a single break.

Novak made one of his most alarming starts at Majors, with no tools to overcome that and force a decider.

Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer.

The Italian kicked off the action with a fine hold and an early break in game two following a forehand drive-volley winner.

Jannik confirmed the advantage with another hold in game three and earned another break chance in the next one, outplaying the defending champion. Djokovic saved it with a forehand winner and held, adding his name to the scoreboard and reducing the deficit.

Jannik moved 4-1 up with another reliable performance behind the initial shot and pushed strong on the return in game six. Novak sprayed a backhand error, losing serve for the second time and finding himself 5-1 behind. Sinner caused Djokovic's mistake in the seventh game, clinching the opener 6-1 in 35 minutes and sending a clear warning to his rival.

Tim Henman shared his thought about Novak Djokovic's Melbourne loss.

Novak landed in 75% of the first serve in the second set. However, it brought him nothing, as Jannik tamed his initial shot and grabbed two breaks. The young gun lost four points behind the initial shot, dominating and opening two sets to love advantage after an unreal 73 minutes!

Novak hit a loose backhand in the third game, losing serve and falling 3-1 behind after Jannik's booming serve in the next one. The Italian led 4-2 and stepped in on the return in the next one, welcoming the Serb's forehand error and extending his advantage.

Sinner wrapped up the set with a hold at 5-2, building a massive advantage and looking determined to dethrone Djokovic in straight sets. That was almost a done deal, with Novak facing a break point in the first game.

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

The defending champion denied it with a forced error and held for at least some boost of confidence.

Djokovic served well in the following games, opening a 5-4 lead with a hold at love and overcoming deuces at 5-5. Sinner introduced a tie break with a smash winner in the 12th game and fell 4-2 behind after a forehand error.

The young gun bounced back and fired a forehand winner in the ninth point for 5-4. Djokovic landed a forehand lob winner for 5-5 before Sinner created a match point with a booming serve. Novak stayed calm and erased it with a forced error.

The defending champion pocketed the breaker 8-6, producing a massive escape and extending the battle after two and a half hours. Trusting his shots, Jannik left that opportunity behind and made a fresh start in the fourth set.

Novak worked hard in the second game, saving two break points before experiencing more issues at 1-2 from 40-0! He squandered game points and hit a double fault to offer Sinner a break chance. The Serb hit a loose backhand, suffering a break and moving closer to the exit door.

The Italian faced rare deuces in the fifth game, overcoming them and holding with a powerful serve for 4-1. Jannik held at love in game seven, moving 5-2 up and keeping the pressure on the other side. Novak served to stay in the match in game eight and held at love with a forehand winner, extending his chances.

However, his Australian Open journey was over after Sinner's reliable hold in game nine. The young gun fired two service winners and 15-30 and seized a match point with a forehand down the line winner, advancing into his first Major final at 22.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2024© Graham Denholm / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

"Novak, one of the greatest returners ever, failed to create a break point. Also, he grabbed three games in the opening two sets at a Major; that's unheard of.

Novak kept fighting, but it was a poor performance, one of the worst at Majors, by his words. Jannik played incredible tennis, giving Novak nothing; credit to him. Novak sprayed over 50 unforced errors. It's surprising, but it shows he is only a human who can not always play a perfect match. Jannik took advantage of that and won," Tim Henman said.

Novak Djokovic Australian Open Jannik Sinner