Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2024

Novak Djokovic: I don’t think I played my best tennis in Australia

Novak Djokovic has reflected on his Australian Open semi-final defeat to eventual champion Jannik Sinner, bringing an end to the Serbian’s 33-match winning streak at the tournament.

Djokovic is currently at Indian Wells, an event that he has not competed at for five years and is looking to win a record sixth title in 2024.

It will be the 36-year-old’s first tournament since that loss at the Australian Open, and he spoke to the press about his start to the season so far, “Australia has been a place where I’ve won the most Slams, most of the seasons starting my season with a Grand Slam trophy, which of course gives you a huge wind in the sails for the rest of the season and when you start the season in such fashion, you have more confidence and also I guess you feel a bit relief, that last 15 years I’ve been one of the candidates to win every Slam I’ve played in.

“So if that doesn’t happen, then obviously people start to question whether you can do it again and again and the more time passes by, the question becomes even more of a focus.”

Djokovic has admitted that he did not believe his preparation for the Melbourne major was ideal, but was still full of praise for ‘deserved’ champion Sinner.

“I had a phenomenal Grand Slam season particularly and just overall last year and also end of the year, made some amazing records in the history for the sport that took a lot of me and so I didn’t feel like I had a proper time to rest and to do a proper preparation block like maybe I would normally do,” explained the 24-time major winner.

He continued, “But it is what it is. I don’t think I played my best tennis in Australia, whereas Jannik [Sinner] did. And he was just far better than me that day and after that he made an incredible comeback in the final and won his first title, so it was absolutely deserved.”

Djokovic will begin his Indian Wells campaign tomorrow against Australian Aleksandar Vukic, who beat qualifier Shintaro Mochizuki in the first round.

And the world No.1 revealed that he is ‘excited’ to begin his bid for a sixth Indian Wells title, that would move him ahead of former rival Roger Federer.

“I’m very excited to come back,” said Djokovic. “Time flies incredibly fast – let’s see if I can have a good tournament.”

Inside the baseline…

Novak Djokovic will feel that he has a point to prove after the Australian Open, which makes him even more of a threat than usual. There is also the potential of history being made, as a hungry Djokovic attempts to win a record sixth title at Indian Wells and become the single player with the most titles. That being said, Djokovic has not surpassed the fourth round since 2016, which was when he won his fifth title at the tournament.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.