Novak Djokovic reveals he ‘suffered a lot’ during 33rd consecutive Australian Open win
Novak Djokovic has equalled Monica Seles’ record of winning 33 consecutive matches at the Australian Open, with the Serb moving onto yet another semi-final in Melbourne.
Djokovic beat 12th seed Taylor Fritz, 7-6(3) 4-6 6-2 6-3, on Rod Laver Arena with the opening two sets lasting almost two-and-a-half hours.
The world No.1 admitted that they really took a toll on him, as he struggled with the evening heat in Melbourne, “I suffered a lot in the first couple of sets which was also due to his high-quality tennis.
“He was serving well, staying close to the line and kind of suffocating me from the back of the court. Most of the rallies I was on my back foot and it was really difficult to find the right timing. Physically and emotionally it was draining.”
Djokovic has now extended his dominant head-to-head record over Taylor Fritz to 9-0, but despite this has labelled the American’s serve as ‘one of the best in the world’.
“Taylor has one of the best serves in the world,” claimed the 10-time Australian Open champion. “I saw him playing [Stefanos] Tsitsipas a few days ago so I knew the threat he poses when he serves at such a high quality.
“My conversation of break points was really poor. But at the end of the day, I managed to break it when it mattered. I think I had more aces than he did which was a surprise stat. I think that helped me in this kind of match.”
15,09 – At 15h 09m, this year’s Australian Open has been the most time spent on court for Djokovic over the first five rounds at the event, breaking his previous mark of 14h 52m set in 2021. Tricky.#AusOpen | @AustralianOpen @DjokerNole @atptour pic.twitter.com/ogvd7hE621
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) January 23, 2024
Djokovic converted only four of his 21 break points (19%), backing up his statement, but he is now looking ahead to his semi-final contest against either Jannik Sinner or Andrey Rublev.
“Both Sinner and Rublev are in great form,” said the 36-year-old. “I watched Rublev the other night against (Alex) de Minaur. The match had some of the quickest exchanges I’ve seen in the Rod Laver Arena in years.
“Sinner, he is probably playing the best tennis of his life. he had a fantastic ending to last season and we had a couple of great encounters in Turin and also in the Davis Cup.”
Sinner and Rublev are expected to play late into the Melbourne night on Rod Laver Arena, with the match yet to begin, and the winner will play Djokovic in their first Australian Open semi-final on Friday,
Inside the baseline…
It seems at this point in his career, every match that Novak Djokovic plays results in some sort of record being made. The Serb really seems to be living up to his name as the favourite for the title even more as the tournament goes on, but could face an incredibly difficult encounter against Jannik Sinner on Friday, who many are billing as the biggest threat to his title defence this year.
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