(CTN News) – Jannik Sinner upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic, ending his 33-match winning streak. The Serbian was shocked at how bad he was during the three-hour, 26-minute semifinal.
In his post-match press conference, Djokovic said, “I was shocked with my level.”. I didn’t play well in the first two sets. I’ve never played a Grand Slam match like that. That’s all I remember.
I don’t like playing this way. At the same time, he did everything better than me.”
As a Serbian, Djokovic lost to Alex de Minaur in Perth. He lost three sets at the AO and admitted he wasn’t feeling good.
It hasn’t been his best tournament so far for Djokovic, a 24-time major champ. I played well against Mannarino, but most of my matches here weren’t great.
This tournament surprised me in a way, since I thought it wouldn’t be this bad in the first two sets. The semi-finals are great, but I always expect the best of myself, and today wasn’t the day.”
In the first two sets, Djokovic won just three games.
Despite the 10-time Australian Open champion, Sinner won their fourth Lexus ATP Head2Head match in a row.
Before Friday, the top seed had never lost from the semi-final to the final in Melbourne (20-0). This is Djokovic’s first major match without a break point.
Djokovic said, “That stat says a lot.” His serve was precise and backed very well.
“It’s difficult to describe. I’m not really satisfied with my performance on the court today in terms of my return, movement, forehand, and backhand. It was just a subpar experience. His dominance was evident. Exceptional at serving.”
Since October, Sinner has won 19 of his last 20 matches. If he wins his first major on Sunday, he could reach a career-high No. 3 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.
As he left Melbourne at No. 1, Djokovic was full of praise for the 22-year-old and his coaching staff.
“He would always hit the ball really hard from both the forehand and the backhand corner,” Djokovic said. “He’s kind of famous for that.” Has a very quick game and loves to be aggressive.
“I think his serve has improved a lot. I think he upped his speed as well as his corners. Serving is bigger and more precise now. Movements overall and mental aspects. Even though he was very calm and composed on the court, I think he found it hard to win the big matches at the right time.
Now everything is coming together for him. Coach Darren Cahill has worked with former world no. 1s, so having him in his corner on the mental side of things is very helpful.”