Djokovic bows to Sinner: "He deserves the final"

The Serbian champion analyzed the semifinal match at the Australian Open, at the press conference

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Djokovic bows to Sinner: "He deserves the final"
© Graham Denholm / Stringer Getty Images Sport

History was on his side, environment was on his side, records and statistics were on his side. Even the bookmakers had no doubt whatsoever about his victory.

Novak Djokovic was unbeaten in 33 matches at the Australian Open and, despite the difficulties encountered in the first rounds of the tournament, he seemed to have regained his balance, ready to go on to win his 25th Slam title.

This was not the case, because in the semi-final he had to face Jannik Sinner, who put in a magnificent performance. The Serbian champion once again showed his kindness and respect for his opponents.

Djokovic
Djokovic© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

In fact, in the press conference, despite the disappointment he just experienced, Nole praised the tennis performed by the young Italian, underlining how Sinner deserved access to the final. Sinner awaits the winner of the match between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev in the final.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Jannik for playing a great match and an exceptional tournament so far. He deserves to be in the final: he played better than me, beating me clearly. It's not pleasant to play like this, but congratulations to Sinner for doing everything better than me.

The crowd was fantastic, I think they had fun supporting both me and Jannik. Sinner Hit the ball very hard with both forehand and backhand and from every angle. He loves to be aggressive. I think his serve has improved a lot both in terms of speed and trajectory. Before, he struggled to win important matches, but now things are going very well for him also from a mental point of view.

Darren Cahill is a very experienced coach, he has worked with several former world number ones, and is a great help to Sinner. He has a great team, his path is excellent. In a couple of days he will have the chance to win his first Slam," explained Djokovic.

"The level I expressed today shocked me in a very negative way. I did practically nothing in the first two sets. I imagine this is one of the worst matches I have ever played in a Grand Slam tournament," explain the Serb.

Djokovic has never looked so vulnerable in the final stages of the Happy Slam. The data that highlights Djokovic's bad day most of all concerns the return games. It had never happened that the Belgrade native failed to get even a break point during the entire match.

"It's not pleasant to play like this, but compliments should be given to Sinner for doing everything better than me. I tried to react and fight. I managed to raise the level a little in the third set and saved a match point.

But then in the fourth set I lost the serve 40-0. My performance wasn't great. In those moments you try to find serenity and, at the same time, elevate your game. The crowd was fantastic, I think they had fun supporting both me and Jannik," he analyzed.

"To be honest, I don't think I played my best tennis during the whole tournament. I didn't live up to expectations, so to speak. This surprised me, I didn't think I would do so badly in the first two sets . Zero break points? This statistic says a lot. He served well, but it's hard to describe. There are a lot of negative things I did on the court today in terms of my game that I'm not very happy with," said Djokovic.

Sinner writes a new page of tennis history

Italy, for the first time in history, will have a tennis player in the Australian Open final, thanks to Sinner's victory against Djokovic.

But in reality there will be a total of three Italians competing for the trophy, if we also consider Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori, who reached the men's doubles final. Bolelli and Vavassori will try to win the doubles title on Saturday - after the women's singles - Sinner will take to the court on Sunday against the winner of the second semi-final between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev.

No other Italian had been able to reach the men's singles final in Melbourne before. Only Matteo Berrettini tasted the final act of the tournament in 2022, but he had to give in to eventual winner Rafael Nadal.

There are not many Italian tennis players who have had the opportunity in their career to compete for a Grand Slam trophy. The first was Giorgio de Stefani in 1932 at Roland Garros. Followed by Nicola Pietrangeli with 4 finals all reached on the Parisian red clay.

In 1976 the achievement was also achieved by Adriano Panatta, while the most recent was that of Matteo Berrettini at Wimbledon in 2021. Now it will be the turn of Sinner, current ATP No.4, who conceded just one set and left just two breaks to the opponents so far.

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