Watch: Novak Djokovic Cheers on Nikola Jokic - Champion's Support

Novak Djokovic watched Nikola Jokic in Los Angeles

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Novak Djokovic Cheers on Nikola Jokic - Champion's Support
© Kevork Djansezian / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic will compete in Indian Wells for the first time in five years, seeking his sixth crown in the desert. Ahead of his first duties on the court, Novak took a night off and enjoyed a historic NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.

Djokovic witnessed history, with LeBron James passing the 40,000-point mark. After the match, Novak hugged Nikola and spent an excellent time with him and Vlade Divac. Djokovic praised Jokic as one of the greatest athletes and a legend, always enjoying watching him play.

World no. 1 will seek his first title of the season in Indian Wells following the semi-final loss at the Australian Open. The Serb kicked off the season at the United Cup, beating Zhizhen Zhang and Jiri Lehecka but struggling with a wrist injury.

Novak Djokovic & Nikola Jokic, Los Angeles © Kevork Djansezian / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Novak fell to Alex de Minaur in straight sets, stumbling on the return and getting broken two times. The defending Australian Open did not play at his best in the opening rounds in Melbourne after dealing with a minor virus.

Novak kicked off the action against an 18-year-old Dino Prizmic and prevailed in four sets after four hours. The young Croat clinched the second set and fought well, defending six match points in the fourth set before the Serb seized the seventh for a winning start.

Djokovic had to dig deep against Alexei Popyrin, losing the second set and facing three set points in the third. The defending champion denied them and broke the rival's resistance, securing a spot in the third round. Novak served better against Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Adrian Mannarino, sealing the deal in straight sets and booking a place in the quarter-final.

Djokovic embraced another tight battle with Taylor Fritz, playing the opening two sets for two hours and 23 minutes! The Serb squandered all 15 break chances in the first part of the match, taking the opener in the tie break and allowing the American to level the overall score with a single break in set number two.

The sun went down, and Novak felt much better on the court in sets three and four, breaking Taylor four times and arranging the semi-final clash with Jannik Sinner. Never losing the Australian Open match after passing the quarter-final round, Djokovic ended his streak following a tough defeat.

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

Novak Djokovic watched an NBA match in Los Angeles, cheering for Nikola Jokic.

Sinner dethroned Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 22 minutes, scoring a career-best win and moving into his first Major final at 22.

Jannik outplayed Novak in every segment, missing a match point in the third set but staying focused and sealing the deal in the fourth. Djokovic struggled in the shortest range up to four strokes and sprayed over 50 unforced errors.

He got broken five times from 11 chances offered to his opponent while creating no break points for the first time in completed matches at Majors! Thus, Sinner ended Djokovic's streak at the Australian Open and set the title clash versus Daniil Medvedev.

Jannik made a flying start and broke Novak in the second game of the encounter with a forehand drive-volley winner.

Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Djokovic saved a break point in the fourth game before losing ground again at 1-4.

The Serb sprayed a backhand error, getting broken for the second time and sending the Italian 5-1 in front. Sinner delivered a fine hold in the seventh game, winning the opener 6-1 in 35 minutes. Novak served at 75% in the second set, bringing him nothing.

Jannik served well and kept the pressure on the other side, notching two breaks and building a massive advantage after an hour and 13 minutes! With nothing working his way, Djokovic faced a break point at the start of the third set, moving closer to the exit door.

The veteran denied it and raised his level, at least in his games. Jannik introduced a tie break with a smash winner in the 12th game and returned from 2-4 to forge a 6-5 advantage with a service winner. Novak saved the match point and stole the breaker 8-6, gathering a boost and extending the battle.

Sinner served well in the fourth set and created two break chances in the second game, missing them and keeping Djokovic on the positive side. Still, the young gun grabbed a break at 2-1, trailing 40-0 but bouncing back and moving in front following Novak's wayward backhand.

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

Jannik held after deuces in the fifth game, holding and opening a 4-1 gap. The Italian gained a 5-2 lead with a hold at love in game seven, forcing the Serb to serve to stay in the match.

Novak landed a forehand winner, holding at love and facing the ultimate test at 3-5. Jannik found himself 30-15 down but stayed composed, firing two service winners for a match point. The young gun emerged at the top with a forehand down the line winner, celebrating a career-best win and moving into the final.

Novak Djokovic