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Other SportsIt's not the beginning of the end, says Djokovic after Sinner defeat

It’s not the beginning of the end, says Djokovic after Sinner defeat

Novak Djokovic admitted he was “shocked” by his poor performance against Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open semi-finals but dismissed the notion it’s the “beginning of the end”.

Djokovic was second best for much of the encounter against the young Italian, who won 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6/8) 6-3. The defeat was Djokovic’s first in 2195 days at the season-opening grand slam and ended his bid for a record-extending 11th title in Melbourne.

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Sinner will play the winner of the second semi-final between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev on Sunday while the world number one was left to pick through the rubble of an uncharacteristically shoddy display.

“He outplayed me completely,” admitted Djokovic.

“I was shocked with my level in a bad way. This was one of the worst grand slam matches I’ve ever played. At least that I remember.”

Djokovic remains upbeat about the rest of the season and is adamant he still has plenty to offer at 36 years of age.

He added: “I still have high hopes for other slams, Olympics, and whatever tournaments that I’ll play. It’s just the beginning of the season.

“It’s not the feeling that I’m used to. It has been incredibly satisfying for me to start off most of my seasons with a grand slam win and having never lost in the semis or finals of the Australian Open.

“So this time it’s a bit different, but it is what it is. Let’s see. I don’t know. 

“This tournament hasn’t been up to my standard or the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the beginning of the end, you know, as some people like to call it. 

“Let’s see what happens in the rest of the season.”

Djokovic’s frustration was in stark contrast to Sinner’s delight with the 22-year-old advancing to his first grand slam final despite squandering a match point in the third set tie-break.

He said: “It was a very, very tough match. 

“I started off really well. He missed for two sets. I felt like he wasn’t feeling that great on court, so I just tried to keep pushing and then in the third set I had match point and I missed the forehand, but you know, this is tennis.

“I just tried to be ready for the next set and obviously the atmosphere was so great.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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