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Australian Open 2024: Jannik Sinner Stuns Novak Djokovic In Semi-Final, Breaks Serbian's 2195-Day-Long Invincible Streak Down Under

Fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner became the first man from Italy to beat a singles world number 1 player at a Grand Slam. For Novak Djokovic, this was a first-ever semi-final defeat at the Australian Open

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AP
Jannik Sinner hits a return to Novak Djokovic during their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2024 Photo: AP
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The seemingly impossible has finally happened. A whole 2,195 days since he last lost a match at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic stands vanquished at the Rod Laver Arena. Jannik Sinner has done the hitherto unthinkable, becoming the first Italian ever to defeat a men's singles world number 1 player at a Major. And he chose a stage as grand as the semi-final to do it. (More Tennis News)

Sinner emerged triumphant 6-1, 6-2, 6-6 (6-8), 6-3 to book a place in the title round, where he will meet the winner of the other last-four stage clash between Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev, slated later in the day (2pm IST).

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A standout feature of the match was the fact that Sinner retrieved better than Djokovic - an aspect which is the hallmark of the Serbian great's game. Unlike many of his contemporaries, the so-called next-gen who are supposed to take the baton from the Big Four of Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, the Italian is cool and calm, doing the simple things right.

Sinner was utterly dominant in the service games, and did not face a single break point throughout the match. The only way Novak could wrangle a set was via tie-break, and that was all he won from the match.

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The first set, which the fourth seed won 6-1 in just 36 minutes, witnessed the underdog committing only three unforced errors, 12 fewer than the 24-time Grand Slam winner. The youngster also dominated his illustrious rival in every other facet of the game.

Djokovic did fairly well in the second, but still committed 14 unforced errors, nine more than Sinner; and the holder's return points dropped to four in 21, from six in 22 in the previous set. Sinner took the set 6-2 in 39 minutes.

But he would have surely been wary of the famed Djokovic fightback. In the 2022 Wimbledon quarter-final, Sinner took the first two sets (7-5, 6-2), but lost the match in five sets.

The world number one, who is also the most successful player in Australian Open history with 10 final wins, last trailed by two sets in 2018, against South Korean Chung Hyeon, in the eventual defeat, which also happened to be his previous loss here. Djokovic, for that matter of fact, had last lost the first two sets here only three times before today.

And indeed, the third set was a multitudes closer affair, where neither player could break the other, and proceeded to a tie-break. But Novak proved too strong, and was not willing to go down without a fight. The Serbian clinched the tie-break 8-6.

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But Sinner came roaring back in the fourth set, proving that his early display was no flash in the pan. The Italian broke Djokovic's serve once and that was all he needed to bag the set 6-3 and with it, the match too.

This is Djokovic's first-ever semi-final defeat at the season-opening Grand Slam.

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