Novak Djokovic - Australian Open 2024

Novak Djokovic: This is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I’ve ever played

Novak Djokovic has seen his 33-match winning streak at the Australian Open come to an end, with Jannik Sinner beating the world No.1 to reach his first Grand Slam final.

Djokovic had never previously lost in an Australian Open semi-final, but was convincingly beaten by the Italian, 1-6 2-6 7-6(6) 3-6.

The 36-year-old failed to produce a single break point for the first time in a Grand Slam, and he has slammed the performance as ‘one of the worst’ of his career.

“He’s [Sinner is] deservedly in the final. He outplayed me completely today,” admitted Djokovic. “I was in a way shocked with my level in a bad way. Not much I was doing right in the first two sets, I guess this is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I’ve ever played.

“It’s not a very pleasant feeling playing this way. But at the same time credit to him for doing everything better than me in every aspect of the game.”

Djokovic has now lost three of his last four matches to Sinner, as he suffers his first defeat at the Melbourne major since 2018.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion revealed that he has not felt at his best so far this year, “The whole tournament I haven’t really played close to my best. Match maybe against [Adrian] Mannarino was great but most of the matches I was not playing the way I play here in Australia normally.”

Despite confessing that he feels ‘hot-headed’ after a rare defeat, Djokovic appeared to dismiss any chances of it being his final Australian Open.

“I’m kind of hot-headed right now,” expressed Djokovic. “After the match, it’s very difficult to reflect on things in a more profound way.

“I definitely have a lot to be very proud of in terms of what I have achieved here. The streak was going to end one day. I gave everything I possibly can under circumstances where I didn’t play well and I lost to a player that has a very good chance to win his first slam. That’s all it is.”

The 10-time Australian Open champion added, “I just hope that I’ll get a chance to come back, yeah, to play at least another time and go through the emotions once more. This tournament hasn’t been up to the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the beginning of the end. Let’s see what happens in the rest of the season.”

Djokovic is not currently entered into any tournaments, so it is unclear as to when he will be next expected to appear on the matchcourt.

Inside the baseline…

Novak Djokovic losing in any major is always going to be a shock, let alone the Australian Open! That being said, Jannik Sinner has looked the strongest men’s player in Melbourne this year and perhaps their recent head-to-head should have warned people of this. However, beating Djokovic in best-of-three sets is a completely different feat to best-of-five, and that was proved today when the Serb forced a fourth set after saving a match point.

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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.