Jannik Sinner has become the youngest Australian Open men's singles finalist since Novak Djokovic in 2008, storming into the final with an emphatic 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 victory over the World No.1. The Italian became the first man to beat Djokovic in a semi-final or final at Melbourne Park on Friday, shattering Djokovic's aura of invincibility in the process.
Sinner's victory means the 2024 Australian Open final will be the first championship in Melbourne that doesn't feature Djokovic, Federer, or Nadal since 2005. The Serb entered Friday afternoon's match with a perfect 10-from-10 record in Australian Open semi-finals but left it probably wondering where it all went so wrong on a court he has dominated for more than a decade.
Djokovic was riding an incredible 33-match winning streak at the Australian Open but Sinner had the semi-final by the scruff of the neck from the start. The Italian came out firing, breaking Djokovic's first service game and from there never looked back. He is the first man to beat Djokovic at Melbourne Park since Korean Chung Hyeon in the fourth round in 2018.
"I don't know what to say, really," Sinner said post-match. "I came here (in late December), I started off in Kooyong with a couple of exhibition matches and tried to come here as prepared as possible."
Sinner continues to thrive under the guidance of Australian super-coach Darren Cahill, who led Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and Simona Halep to the top of the rankings. He has not lost a match since Alexander Zverev at the US Open in September and is brimming with confidence going into the final.
"The confidence from the end of last year has kept the belief that I can play against the best players in the world," he said. "I'm really happy that I can play Sunday in my first final. Let's see how it goes. I will come here with a smile and try my best." Sinner will play either Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev or German sixth seed Alexander Zverev in his maiden grand slam final on Sunday night.
Jannik Sinner ruthless from the start in Australian Open win
Sinner bolted out of the blocks, breaking the 10-time champion in his first service game and then again in the sixth to race through the opening set in 35 minutes. It was the first time Djokovic had lost a set 6-1 at the Open in a decade.
From there the Italian did not let up, breaking Djokovic early in the second set before going on with it, winning the second set 6-2. Both men traded incredible shots in the third set but it was the defending Australian Open champion who took the set 7-6.
But even after saving a match point in the tense third-set tiebreaker, there was no escaping Sinner who broke Djokovic for a fifth time in the fourth game of the fourth set. He then held his nerve and his serve three more times to snuff out any comeback chance, sealing victory with a booming forehand winner in three hours and 22 minutes. His performance left fans gobsmacked at what they had just witnessed.
#4 Jannik Sinner beats #1 and 10-time champ Novak Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3 in 3h22 to reach his first career Grand Slam final at the #AusOpen. Biggest win of his career.
3rd win over Djokovic in 9 weeks.
Djokovic's streak of 33 consecutive wins in Melbourne is now OVER! pic.twitter.com/9E4wfckY0b
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 26, 2024
2195 days, 19 hours, 42 minutes unbeaten at the Australian Open.
10 out of 10 in Australian Open semifinals.
ENTER JANNIK SINNER 🥕 pic.twitter.com/wFtibIARbR
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) January 26, 2024
July 16, 2023, Carlos Alcaraz interrupts Djokovic's streak at Wimbledon after 2.195 days.
January 26, 2024, Jannik Sinner interrupts Djokovic's streak at the Australian Open after 2.195 days.
It was just written in the stars.
— Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) January 26, 2024
Smile if you’re the only man to beat Djokovic in an Australian Open semifinal.
Novak was 20-0 in Australian Open semifinals… before today.
Jannik Sinner is built different. 🇮🇹 pic.twitter.com/OTHszeCTBj
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) January 26, 2024
Jannik Sinner hands Novak Djokovic his first EVER defeat in the last two rounds of #AusOpen.
6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3.
Djokovic, a 10x champ, was previously the ultimate closer here. 10-0 in semis. 10-0 in finals.
Sinner awaits Medvedev or Zverev in his first Slam final Sunday. pic.twitter.com/vzyPUBDLk7
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 26, 2024
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 26, 2024
- with AAP
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