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Thursday, April 25, 2024

is Djokovic about to misplaced an historic file?

© Daniel Pockett / Stringer Getty Pictures Sport

There may be an finish to every little thing, it’s the basic rule of life. You’re born, you attempt to depart one thing optimistic, you die. Novak Djokovic left an indelible mark within the historical past of sport (not simply tennis, however sport), which he shall be remembered without end.

Contemplating that he’ll at all times be the favourite within the tournaments he’ll play between now and the tip of the season, a attainable defeat within the semi-final of the Australian Open 2024 might mark an epochal finish for him.

Jannik Sinner actually destroyed the Serbian champion within the first two units, closing to succeed in his first closing in a Slam match, displaying (as soon as once more if any have been wanted) his appreciable enhancements. Sinner performed as Djokovic ought to have performed, making his opponent seem, at the very least for immediately, like a freshman.

The Serb received the third set however he’s risking to misplaced a tremendous file.

However as talked about, this defeat will stay within the historical past of Djokovic’s profession. The Serbian champion performed his eleventh semi-final at Melbourne Park. And the Rod Laver Area could possibly be thought of his fort, as he had by no means misplaced a semifinal on the Australian Open, in his total profession. Right now occurred: Djokovic misplaced an Australian Open semifinal for the primary time in his profession.

Not solely that: within the ten earlier semifinal matches on the Completely happy Slams, he had subsequently at all times received the title. It might occur, ultimately. It occurred immediately, on the daybreak of the brand new season, one which appeared destined as soon as once more to be dominated by Djokovic.

Maybe, the instantly abortive try to finish the Grand Slam will be capable to give him new power and new motivation for the continuation of the season. A season that’s shaping as much as be extra attention-grabbing than anybody anticipated. The defeat of Carlitos Alcaraz within the quarter-finals, the elimination of Nole within the semi-finals.

On the eve of the match between Nole and Jannik, there was a chunk of knowledge that we proposed to you as a key to understanding a attainable end result of the semi-final. Djokovic took 15 hours and 9 minutes to serve with a view to beat Dino Prizmic, Alexei Popyrin, Tomas Etcheverry, Adrian Mannarino and eventually Taylor Fritz (3:48).

This was the version through which he needed to keep on the court docket the longest to succeed in the semi-final. He exceeded the 14 hours and 52 minutes that he had spent within the 2021 version. Numbers that inform of the main difficulties encountered by the 36-year-old Serbian champion in reaching the semi-final in Melbourne.

Sinner as a substitute confronted Botic Van De Zandchulp, Jesper De Jong, Sebastian Baez, Karen Khakhanov, Andrey Rublev, for a complete of 14 hours and 20. Possibly one thing is altering, in any case, there’s an finish to every little thing.

Nevertheless, Djokovic can console himself: he’ll stay ATP No.1

Carlos Alcaraz’s elimination towards Alexander Zverev was undoubtedly the shock of the quarterfinals on the Australian Open. Everybody anticipated to see the Spanish champion as Daniil Medvedev’s subsequent semifinal opponent, however Zverev stopped the ATP No.2’s plans.

After an intense battle on the prime with Carlitos final 12 months, Djokovic solely managed to realize the purpose of ending the 12 months on the prime of the ATP rating within the closing levels of the season.

Initially of 2024, shedding the factors from the victory in Melbourne final 12 months, the possibilities of Alcaraz overtaking him grew to become rather more concrete, however the elimination from the Completely happy Slam modified the playing cards on the desk once more. Novak Djokovic will finish the match as primary, regardless of the consequence.

Djokovic© Julian Finney / Employees Getty Pictures Sport


The performances supplied by Djokovic in the course of the Australian Open have been blended, particularly within the first rounds. The Serbian then actually destroyed Adrian Mannarino, earlier than the quarter-finals towards Taylor Fritz, the place he took a danger after the primary two sophisticated units. Lastly got here the defeat towards Sinner. It stays to be seen whether or not the Serbian champion suffered any bodily discomfort both earlier than or in the course of the match towards Sinner, as a result of it appeared as if his legs have been heavier than common, and his blows have been much less deep than common.

Alcaraz himself had predicted a attainable victory for Sinner.

“I feel all of the gamers within the semi-final can beat Djokovic. It is not straightforward to beat Novak in any match, however in a Slam it is much more troublesome. However he has to face Sinner, who’s displaying unimaginable tennis. He hasn’t dropped a set but on this match, which suggests he has the abilities to beat Novak. I am going to watch the sport, clearly,” stated the Spaniard.

Boris Becker, former coach of the Serb, stated on the eve of the semi-final: “Now Jannik Sinner has an entire bundle. The place on the court docket is nearly at all times excellent, the serve is extra assorted. I now not see weaknesses in his sport. They’re there matches that tennis lovers wait to see and that is actually the case. It is turning into an actual problem, a heated rivalry. Whoever needs it most will win. He might do a variety of heat up and whoever is ready to make good use of the restoration will even win. Nole is excellent at this, Jannik can dream, with pleasure.”

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