Australian Open: Jannik Sinner warns Novak Djokovic

Jannik Sinner is easily through into the Australian Open last 16

by Jovica Ilic
Australian Open: Jannik Sinner warns Novak Djokovic
© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The 4th seed Jannik Sinner remains Novak Djokovic's most formidable rival in the upper half of the Australian Open draw. Jannik reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the third straight year after a commanding 6-0, 6-1, 6-3 victory over the 26th seed Sebastian Baez in an hour and 52 minutes.

Sinner made the difference with his first serve and outplayed the rival on the second, defending all four break points and mounting the pressure on his rival. Baez could not follow those numbers despite serving at 73%, dropping 54% of the points in his games and allowing Sinner to turn them into seven breaks from 12 opportunities.

The Italian fired 34 winners and 27 unforced errors, keeping the points on his racquet and doing what he had to in the exchanges. Jannik overpowered Sebastian in the shortest and mid-range rallies while following the rival's pace in the most extended ones.

Australian Open 2024© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Sinner drew the rival's error in the encounter's first game and painted a backhand crosscourt winner in the next one for a break and an early advantage.

Jannik faced three break points in the third game, erasing the opening two and firing a cracking backhand crosscourt winner on the third for a massive escape. The Italian held with a service winner and made another push on the return at 3-0.

Baez sprayed a forehand error, losing serve for the second time in a row and falling further behind. Jannik created a 5-0 gap with a service winner and wrapped up the opener with a bagel in 29 minutes after a mighty forehand winner in game six.

With a boost on his side, world no. 4 served well in the second set and kept the pressure on the other side. Sebastian held at 15 in game two before facing issues at 1-2. Sinner painted a forehand crosscourt winner for the second break point and converted it after an incredible rally that sent him 3-1 ahead.

Jannik Sinner dismantled Sebastian Baez at the Australian Open.

Jannik grabbed another break at 4-1 after Sebastian's backhand error, extending the gap and serving for the set in game seven. The Italian picked up a volley winner at the net on a set point, forging a massive two sets to love advantage after an hour and one minute of a rock-solid tennis.

The Argentine saved a break point in the opening game of the third set with a rare service winner and held, already doing better than in sets one and two combined! Jannik sprayed a backhand error on a break point at 1-1, allowing his rival to remain on the positive side.

The Italian fired an ace in game four for 2-2 and pushed strong on the return.

Jannik Sinner, Australian Open 2024© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

World no. 4 broke his rival at 30, moving 302 in front and closer to the finish line.

Jannik lost a baseline rally in the sixth game and faced a break point. He saved it with a forehand attack and held with a booming serve for 4-2. Baez held in game seven and reached deuce on the return a few minutes later, hoping for more return chances.

Instead, Sinner closed the game with a service winner for 5-3, keeping the pressure on the other side. Jannik created a match point on the return in game nine with a forehand crosscourt winner and seized it after Sebastian's forehand error to sail over the top and into the last 16.

Australian Open Jannik Sinner Novak Djokovic