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Jannik Sinner vs. Novak Djokovic
January 25, 2024
World No. 4 Jannik Sinner of Italy and 24-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic will face off for a place in Sunday's Australian Open final.
The Serb has won four of his six previous meetings with Jannik Sinner, though the Italian won two of their last three clashes. The pair went 2-2 last season, with Djokovic claiming big wins in the Wimbledon semifinal and the ATP Finals final, while Sinner was victorious in the ATP Finals round-robin and Davis Cup (their most recent meeting).
Jannik Sinner and Novak Djokovic had already met at the Grand stage when the Serb claimed a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 victory in the Wimbledon semi-finals last season.
The Italian arguably suffered the most heartbreaking defeat of his career when he wasted a two-set lead against Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon Championships in 2022.
Jannik Sinner Betting Preview (-220 at MyBookie)
We've already backed Sinner to win his Quarter. And so far so good, he did it as Sinner boasts a perfect record at Melbourne Park this year. The Italian is yet to lose a set in this year's competition but that's likely to change when he faces 10-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.
The top-ranked Italian had endured his fair share of physical challenges over the years, preventing him from breaking into the elite group of players. This makes him somehow unproven, despite his excellent form over the past few months.
Having already beat the likes of Botic van de Zandschulp of the Netherlands, as well as Dutch qualifier Jesper de Jong, No. 26 seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina and 15-th seed Karen Khachanov of Russia without breaking much sweat, Jannik Sinner reached his first Australian Open semifinal.
The 22-year-old continued his imperious run through the draw. He saw off the tenacious Andrey Rublev of Russia in straight-sets (6-4, 7-6, 6-3), in what was his biggest challenge so far. Sinner was up against a wall in the second-set tiebreak but he earned six points in a row to complete a crucial comeback from being 1-5 down.
Thus, he established a commanding two-set lead and dropped just three more games in the final set to seal victory in two hours and 39 minutes.
With an extended off-season, the Italian commenced the official season only in Melbourne. Remarkably, he not only avoided losing a set but also encountered just three instances of closely contested sets, with scores ending at 7-5 or 7-6.
Novak Djokovic Betting Preview (+160 at MyBookie)
Let's pretend you've not heard it anywhere else - Novak Djokovic is aging like fine wine. The 36-year-old Serb rode to within two wins of a record-extending 11
Australian Open crown and record 25
Major title to go past Margaret Court.
Novak Djokovic's remarkable trophy room is only lacking a few key pieces, and one of them is a calendar slam. The upcoming match against Jannik Sinner poses as his initial significant challenge in this tournament.
Djokovic is yet to hit his peak form and it remains to be seen whether his body can remain loyal to his mental resilience, both required if he's to fill the missing link of his trophy room - completing a calendar Slam.
After experiencing bitter disappointments in missing out on this achievement in both 2021 and 2023, the Serbian will embark on his quest once more, starting afresh at his favored hunting ground in Melbs.
Novak Djokovic was dragged into a challenging quarter-final tie with American Taylof Fritz. It wasn't unexpected, though.
After saving consecutive set points at 5-6 in the first set, Djokovic forced a tiebreak, which he ultimately won to draw first blood. The American rode an early break of the Serb's serve in the second set and survived multiple breakpoints to recover and took the second set.
Djokovic, however, upped the ante in the third set, finally converting a breakpoint on his 16
attempt, and the floodgates truly opened. He dropped just five more games and broke Fritz three times, to reach a record-extending 11
Australian Open semifinal.
The Serb still managed to conserve his energy in the early rounds as he enjoyed comfortable wins over Tomás Martín Etcheverry and Adrian Mannarino in the third and fourth round, respectively.
However, Djokovic was still forced to spend four hours on the court in his first round victory over Croatian teenager Dino Prizmic. He also didn't had an easy match against home favorite Alexei Popyrin in the second round when Djokovic won 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 in over three hours.
Spooky Express Betting Prediction
The thrilling rivalry between Djokovic and his younger opponent, which took shape towards the final weeks of 2023, indicates that these two top players might be poised for more intense battles in 2024.
With that said, Jannik Sinner will be keen to dispute Novak Djokovic's superiority when the pair go head-to-head on Rod Laver Arena.
The 10-time champion is now 94-8 at the Australian Open and is an overwhelming favorite to extend his amazing record. He's virtually unbeatable once he reaches the semi-finals at Melbourne Park and even though Sinner also produces his best tennis, he must do something extraordinary to beat the World No. 1 on the grand stage.
Jannik Sinner will be the next one looking to end Novak Djokovic's glorious Australian Open record at this stage of the tournament. The Serb is yet to lose a match once he had reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park, and is also on a 33-match winning streak in the tournament since his shock defeat to Hyeon Chung of South Korea in 2018 (in the round of 16).
In addition to his unbeaten record in the Australian Open final four, Djokovic has won 12 straight Grand Slam last-four clashes since losing to Dominic Thiem at the French Open five years ago.
The Djoker holds an admirable record of 36 victories and 11 defeats in semifinal matches of Major tournaments, with an even more remarkable performance in hardcourt Slams, winning 20 out of 23 such meetings.
Considering his remarkable consistency and superior experience at the business end of Grand Slams, Novak Djokovic should still earn a hard-fought victory but Sinner's potential shouldn't be overlooked here.
Spooky Express Free Play: Over 40.5 Games -115 at MyBookie for 6/10 Units
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