Novak Djokovic reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open 2024, beating Alexei Popyrin not without difficulty. Like his 1st round in this edition of the Melbourne Major, the Serbian won in four sets. Except for the last set, in which the Australian tennis player collapsed in his performance, the match between the two was always very balanced.
The real watershed moment was clearly the third set, decided at the tie break, where the world number one's greater aptitude for living these moments came out, bringing the fate of the match back on the usual tracks for him.
The defending champion in Melbourne will face Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the next round. As mentioned, for over two and a half hours there was great balance between the two, leading the 24-time slam champion to experience some moments with great tension.
One of these in particular occurred before the Serb's tour of duty.
Someone from the stands shouted something at him. Djokovic reacted immediately, urging the person in question to come onto the court and repeat what he said, but to his face.
This reaction is certainly not new for the 36-year-old, who is often pinched by the public for his overly flashy and controversial reactions. To the video published shortly afterwards by Eurosport and X, there was the inevitable reaction of Nick Kyrgios, now a commentator for the television broadcaster, who did not miss his usual opinion.
Also on the social platform, the Canberra tennis player spoke of his colleague's reaction as follows: "Don't poke the bear."
He took a big risk, at a certain point someone thought about his end but once again Djokovic proved everyone wrong.
At 4-5 and 0-40 with serve, Alexei Popyrin had the chance to go ahead two sets to one, a great opportunity, with the Serbian in physical and perhaps even partially mental difficulties. The Australian loosened up a bit, but instead surrendered to the blows of Nole, who canceled out four set points and then closed in the tiebreak.
The rest is known history, the Serbian wins again and despite the suffering he continues his journey in the tournament: he closes in four sets and ends like this.