Novak Djokovic caught in 'arrogant' gaffe before Australian Open final

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Novak Djokovic, pictured here during his semi-final clash with Aslan Karatsev at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic celebrates a point during his semi-final clash with Aslan Karatsev at the Australian Open. (Photo by Hu Jingchen/Xinhua via Getty)

Novak Djokovic's racquet sponsor has been caught in an unfortunate gaffe on the eve of the Australian Open final in Melbourne.

American tennis writer Ben Rothenberg took to social media on Saturday morning to share a screenshot from the Head website congratulating Novak Djokovic on a "record-breaking" ninth Australian Open title.

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The only problem is Djokovic hasn't won his ninth yet.

The World No.1 can win his ninth Norman Brooks Challenge Cup with victory in Sunday's final against Daniil Medvedev.

"HEAD getting aHEAD of themselves," Rothenberg wrote alongside the screenshot.

A number of fans responded to Rothenberg, saying they'd received an email from Head acknowledging the gaffe.

"What we meant to say is...Good luck Novak in the 2021 Australian Open final," the email read.

Despite the apology, some fans described the mishap as "arrogant".

Medvedev's warning to Djokovic ahead of final

While World No.1 Djokovic will be a warm favourite in Sunday night's final, the Serb is unlikely to hold any great fears for Medvedev, who has won three of their last four encounters.

Medvedev said all the pressure was on Djokovic in the final.

"I think he's the favourite because he didn't lose. In eight occasions that he was here in the semis, he won the tournament," Medvedev said.

"Me ... I don't know how you call it in English, not an outsider, but I'm the challenger, the guy that challenges the guy who was eight times in the final and won eight times. And I'm happy about it.

"I think if we talk in general - I have nothing to lose."

Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic, pictured here at the Australian Open.
Daniil Medvedev will take on Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST,BRANDON MALONE/AFP via Getty Images)

Into his ninth Open final, and having won his previous eight, Djokovic said he didn't mind who he faces for the title.

The Melbourne Park king edges Medvedev 4-3 head-to-head but lost his most recent meeting to the Russian in straight sets at the 2020 Tour Finals in London.

Djokovic downed Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 55 minutes to advance to the title decider with Medvedev.

"This is the best I felt in the entire tournament," said Djokovic, who picked up an apparent abdominal injury in the third round.

"I felt great. This is the best match so far and it came at the right time."

While it has been far from plain sailing for Djokovic - who was injured against Taylor Fritz in a five-set third round, lost another three sets and at times has battled the crowd and his own demons - he'll be the odds-on favourite.

"The way I felt today I like my chances and I'm definitely going to go for a title," Djokovic said.

with AAP

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