'Novak Djokovic was not himself' Goran Ivanisevic admits

Novak Djokovic fell to Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open semi-final

by Jovica Ilic
'Novak Djokovic was not himself' Goran Ivanisevic admits
© Julian Finney / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic parted ways with Goran Ivanisevic after working with the Croat for almost five years. After achieving so much, Novak and Goran got a bit tired of their collaboration, ending their incredible journey but remaining close friends.

In his recent interview with Sasa Ozmo, Ivanisevic explained how he saw Djokovic's Australian Open defeat to Jannik Sinner. The Italian toppled world no. 1 in four sets in the semi-final, and the tennis fans reacted as Novak lost at the beginning of the tournament.

Goran praised Jannik's performance while believing Novak could have won that match. World no. 1 saved a match point in the third set, winning it but showing no energy in set number four, as Sinner made a fresh start and sealed the deal in style.

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

Jannik overpowered Novak in every department, dethroning the legend 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 in three hours and 22 minutes, sailing into his first Major final.

Djokovic did not play well at his beloved Major, struggling in the opening two rounds and again against Taylor Fritz in the opening two sets in the quarter-final. The Serb could have lost to Sinner in straight sets, saving a match point in the third but losing ground again in the fourth.

A ten-time champion lost his first Australian Open match after passing the quarter-final round, spraying too many mistakes and standing powerless on the return. Sinner delivered Djokovic's first Australian Open loss since 2018, never facing a break point and playing a flawless match.

Novak made a terrible start, taking only three games in the opening two sets and feeding Jannik with a massive boost. The Serb hit over 50 unforced errors, struggling in the shortest rallies up to four strokes and describing his performance as one of the worst ever at Majors.

The Italian controlled the pace, earning 11 break opportunities and seizing five to emerge at the top in style and remain on the title course. Sinner was off to a reliable start, securing a break in the second game of the match with a forehand drive-volley winner.

Novak played against another break point in game four, canceling it with a forehand winner and reducing the deficit. Jannik produced another fine hold in the fourth game and made a push on the return in the next one.

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

Goran Ivanisevic explained Novak Djokovic's Australian Open loss.

The Serb sprayed a backhand error, losing serve for the second time and falling 5-1 behind in no time.

The young gun served for the opener in game seven and delivered another comfortable hold, forcing the veteran's mistake and wrapping up the opener 6-1 in 35 minutes. Novak landed in 75% of the first serve in the second set, which brought him nothing!

Jannik presented another rock-solid performance, holding the strings on serve and return and building a massive advantage after losing four points in his games and delivering two breaks. Novak lost serve in the third game after a backhand error, and Jannik fired a service winner in the next one for 3-1.

The Italian held for 4-2 and stepped in on the return in the next one.

Novak Djokovic & Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Daniel Pockett / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Serb missed a forehand, losing serve again and falling 5-2 behind.

Sinner made no errors while serving for the set in game eight, opening a massive 6-1, 6-2 lead after 73 minutes and moving closer to the finish line. Djokovic denied a break point at the beginning of the third set and raised his level, at least behind the initial shot.

They served well, and Sinner introduced a tie break with a smash winner in game 12. The young gun climbed back from 2-4, landing a forehand winner for a 5-4 lead. The veteran leveled the score at 5-5 with a lob winner before facing a match point at 5-6 after Jannik's booming serve.

Novak denied it with a forced error and stole the breaker 8-6, extending his chances after two and a half hours. It could have become tricky for many of Djokovic's rivals but not for Sinner. The Italian made a fresh start in the fourth set, wasting two break chances in the second game but creating more from 0-40 at 2-1.

Novak squandered game points and offered his opponent a break chance after a double fault. The defending champion missed a backhand, propelling Sinner 3-1 in front and closer to the finish line. Jannik produced a fine hold for 5-2, and Novak held at love while serving to stay in the match in the next one.

The young Italian served for a career-best win at 5-3 and landed two service winners at 15-30 for a match point. Jannik seized it with a forehand down the line winner, reaching the final and sending Novak out of the competition.

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

"I was already very exhausted in Australia. Novak lost to Jannik in the semi-final, and some people considered it a tragedy despite the fact he could have won.

I do not know what happened with Novak in that match; he was not himself. Jannik was ready to give his 100%, preparing for everything to score a win. It could have been an even tougher defeat, as Novak stole the third set. However, he showed no real emotions in the fourth set," Goran Ivanisevic said.

Novak Djokovic Goran Ivanisevic Jannik Sinner