Novak Djokovic 'shocked' by Jannik Sinner defeat and gets brutally honest after Australian Open exit

Novak Djokovic 'shocked' by Jannik Sinner defeat and gets brutally honest after Australian Open exit

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Jack Otway

By Jack Otway


Published: 26/01/2024

- 08:43

Updated: 26/01/2024

- 10:15

The world No 1 won't be adding to his Grand Slam haul this winter

Novak Djokovic has admitted he's 'shocked' after being dumped out of the Australian Open by Jannik Sinner on Friday morning.

The Serb had entered the match as the favourite to go through, having previously won 10 majors Down Under.


However, Djokovic struggled right from the beginning with Sinner claiming the first two sets with minimum fuss.

Djokovic was able to win the third set to boost his chances of a comeback, saving a match point in the process.

Novak Djokovic Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has opened up after his defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open

GETTY

Yet Sinner was too strong for the reigning champion and ended up winning 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 to book his place in Sunday's final.

Djokovic has now been asked about the result in his post-match press conference.

And the 36-year-old admitted he was 'shocked' by the defeat, while also brutally criticising his own performance.

“First I want to congratulate Sinner for playing a great match, great tournament so far," he said.

"He's deservedly in the finals. He outplayed me completely today.

“I was, in a way, shocked with my level, in a bad way. There was 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. At least that I remember.

“Yeah, 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.

“To be honest, 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 up to par, so to say, the way I play here in Australia normally.

“So in a way it did surprise me, because I thought it won't be that bad in the first two sets.

"But on the other hand, I didn't feel really myself on the court during this tournament.

"One can say semi-finals is a great result, of course, but I always expect the highest of myself, and it wasn't meant to be today.”

Djokovic proceeded to admit he was 'hot-headed' and will find his defeat to Sinner difficult to reflect on.

He continued: “I'm kind of hot-headed right now. After the match it's very difficult to reflect on things in a more profound way.

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Jannik Sinner

Novak Djokovic has lavished praise on Jannik Sinner following his Australian Open exit

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"Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few days' time, but I definitely have a lot to be very proud of in terms of what I have achieved here.

“The streak was going to end, you know, one day. It was going to happen, and, at least I gave everything I possibly can under circumstances where I didn't play well, and I lost to, you know, a player that has a very good chance to win his first slam. That's all it is.

“But yeah, this has been a very special city, best, by far, Grand Slam of my career.

"Yeah, I just hope that I'll get a chance to come back to play at least another time and go through the emotions once more.”

At the age of 36, Djokovic is entering the twilight years of his career. Despite his brilliance, the end of his career is in sight.

Novak Djokovic Jannik Sinner

Novak Djokovic sounded downbeat in the wake of his agonising Australian Open defeat to Jannik Sinner

GETTY

And he was coy when asked if he finally felt his age.

“Let's see,” he smiled. “Don't know. I still have high hopes, you know, for other slams, Olympics, and whatever tournaments that I'll play. It's just the beginning of the season.

“It's not the feeling that I'm used to. I mean, it kind of has been incredibly satisfying for me, you know, to start off most of my seasons with a Grand Slam win and I had never lost in the semis or finals of the Australian Open.

“So this time it's a bit different, but it is what it is. Let's see. I don't know.

"This tournament hasn't been, as I said, up to my standard or criteria or the level that I would normally play or expect myself to play, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the beginning of the end as some people like to call it. Let's see what happens in the rest of the season.”

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