Match Reaction

Djokovic on Sinner defeat: 'I was shocked with my level'

Serbian lost first match in Melbourne since 2018
January 26, 2024
Novak Djokovic lost to Jannik Sinner on Friday at the Australian Open.
Getty Images
Novak Djokovic lost to Jannik Sinner on Friday at the Australian Open. By ATP Staff

Novak Djokovic’s 33-match winning streak at the Australian Open came to an end on Friday when Jannik Sinner upset the World No. 1 in four sets. The Serbian, who committed 54 unforced errors, was shocked at how poor his level was during the three-hour, 26-minute semi-final clash.

“I was, in a way, shocked with my level, in a bad way,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference. “There was not much I was doing right in the first two sets. I guess this is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I've ever played. At least that I remember.

“Not a very pleasant feeling playing this way. But at the same time, credit to him for doing everything better than me, in every aspect of the game.”

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne off the back of the United Cup in Perth, where he lost to Australian Alex de Minaur when representing Serbia. The 36-year-old then dropped three sets en route to the last four at the AO and admitted he had not felt at his best all event.

To be honest, the whole tournament I haven't really played close to my best,” 24-time major champion Djokovic said. “The match maybe against Mannarino was great, but most of the matches I was not playing up to par, so to say, the way I play here in Australia normally.

“In a way [my level today] did surprise me, because I thought, it won't be that bad in the first two sets. But on the other hand, I didn't feel really myself on the court during this tournament. One can say semi-finals is a great result, but I always expect the highest of myself, and it wasn't meant to be today.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Djokovic won just three games across the opening two sets before he rallied in the third, saving a match point. However, the record-time 10 Australian Open champion was unable to prevent Sinner from earning a third win from their past four Lexus ATP Head2Head meetings.

The top seed, who had never lost from the semi-final stage onwards in Melbourne before Friday (20-0), failed to conjure up one break point all match on the Italian’s serve. It is the first time in his career that Djokovic has failed to earn a break point in a major match.

“That stat says a lot,” Djokovic said. “He was serving very accurately, precisely, he was backing his serve very well.

“It's hard to describe. There are a lot of negative things that I've done on the court today in terms of my game that I'm not really pleased with in return or movement or forehand, backhand. Everything was just subpar. He was very dominant. Dominant on his service games.”

You May Also Like: Sinner Surprise: Italian dethrones Djokovic to reach first Grand Slam final

Sinner has now won 19 of his past 20 matches dating back to October. The Italian could rise to a career-high No. 3 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings if he wins his first major on Sunday against Daniil Medvedev or Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic, who leaves Melbourne at No. 1, was full of praise for the 22-year-old and his team, which includes coach Darren Cahill.

“He was always smacking the ball really hard from both forehand and backhand corner," Djokovic said. "He's famous kind of for that. Plays very quick loves to be aggressive.

“I think his serve improved a lot. He's hitting his corners very well, and I think he upped his speed as well. Serving bigger now and more precise. Movement overall and mental part. He was always very calm, very composed in the court, but I think he struggled maybe to win the big matches in the big moments.

“But now it's coming together for him. Darren Cahill, who is a very experienced coach and someone who has worked with former No. 1s in the world, obviously having him in his corner is very helpful from the mental side of things.”

Read More News View All News

View Related Videos View All Videos


Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

Premier Partner

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Official Ball, Racquet and Tennis Accessory

Official Partners & Suppliers