Australian Open: Sinner beats Djokovic to reach first Grand Slam final

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during a loss to Italian Jannik Sinner at the 2024 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Photo by Joel Carrett/EPA-EFE
1 of 6 | Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during a loss to Italian Jannik Sinner at the 2024 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne. Photo by Joel Carrett/EPA-EFE

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Jannik Sinner used memories from his loss at Wimbledon 2023 to fuel an upset of No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the 2024 Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne, allowing him to reach his first Grand Slam final.

The Italian No. 4 seed will face No. 3 Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final Sunday at Melbourne Park.


"I don't know what to say really," Sinner said on the ESPN broadcast. "I tried to come here as prepared as possible. The confidence from the end of last year has for sure kept the belief that I can play against the best players in the world.

"I'm really happy that I can play Sunday in my first final."

Sinner totaled nine aces, 31 winners and converted 5 of 11 break points in his 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 semifinal victory Friday at Rod Laver Arena.


Djokovic totaled seven aces and 32 winners. He did not force a break point opportunity and totaled 54 unforced errors, compared to Sinner's 28.

"He outplayed me completely today," Djokovic told reporters. "I was, in a way, shocked with my level. There was not much I was doing right in the first two sets. This is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I've ever played."

Sinner broke Djokovic twice in the first set, while Djokovic won just one game off his serve. He broke the Serbian two more times in the second set for a 2-0 lead in the match.

Djokovic and Sinner each held their serves through a dozen games in the third set, forcing a tiebreak. Djokovic won the tiebreak 8-6 to briefly snatch back momentum, but his foe rebounded.

Sinner held serve through the first three games, earning a 2-1 edge in the third set. He then broke Djokvoic for a fifth time and held in the fifth game for a 4-1 lead. He closed out the match with a powerful forehand return into the right corner, which Djokovic struggled to reach.

Sinner's victory snapped a 33-match winning streak for Djokovic at the Australian Open. Djokovic won the title in his previous four appearances at the tournament.


Sinner, who started his career 0-3 against Djokovic, is now 3-1 over his last four matches against the Serbian. He is 3-4 overall against the top men's player.

He is 1-2 in Grand Slam meetings against Djokovic, including his 2023 loss in the Wimbledon semifinals. Djokovic won the first two sets of that match 6-3, 6-4. Sinner forced a tiebreak in the final set, which Djokovic won 7-6(4).

"I lost last year in the semis in Wimbledon," Sinner said. "I think I learned a lot from that. It's all part of the process. I'm really happy to share this [win] with my team."

Later Friday, Medvedev faced an 0-2 set deficit, but rallied to outlast No. 6 Alexander Zverev of Germany in the other men's singles semifinal. The Russian fired 52 winners and converted 5 of 14 break point opportunities in the 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 triumph.

"I was a little bit lost, but I was just saying to myself: 'If I lose this match, I just want to be proud of myself. I want to fight to the end and fight for every point,'" Medvedev said.


Zverev totaled 66 winners and converted 5 of 10 break points, but totaled 70 unforced errors -- compared to Medvedev's 41 -- in the 4-hour, 15-minute thriller.

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will face No. 12 Zheng Qinwen of China in the women's final at 3:30 a.m. EST Saturday on ESPN. The men's singles final will air at the same time Sunday on ESPN.

Novak Djokovic's journey through the 2023 U.S. Open

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Alexandre Muller of France in the first round of the 2023 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y., on August 28, 2023. Djokovic won with a score of 6-0, 6-2, 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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