The streak came to an end. It had lasted 2195 days and across 33 matches, but the unthinkable unfolded at the Rod Laver Arena on Friday, January 15. Novak Djokovic lost an Australian Open match for the first time in 6 years as the defending champion was dumped out in the men's singles semi-final by 4th seed Jannik Sinner. It was the first time Djokovic lost the semi-final of the season's first Grand Slam after having won 10 out of 10 in the past.
In one of the biggest shocks in tennis history in the recent past, Novak Djokovic was beaten by Jannik Sinner 1-6, 2-6, 7-6 (6), 3-6 in 3 hours and 22 minutes.
There was no dream comeback for Novak Djokovic this time even as he fought back from 2 sets down and saved a match point in the third set tie-breaker to force a fourth set. However, the continued dip in intensity was evident in the 4th set too as a fired up Jannik Sinner broke Djokovic's serve early to get the job done in the fourth set.
It was the first time Novak Djokovic was playing a semi-final at the Rod Laver Arena in the morning session and he was not able to get past the penultimate hurdle. Before Friday, Djokovic was 10- 0 in the semi-finals, 10-0 in the finals of Autralian Open, but the dream for No. 11 was over.
STATS TELL THE STORY
On the other hand, Jannik Sinner was not broken throughout the four sets, maintaining a sensational first-serve win percentage of 83. Djokovic made 54 unforced errors, 26 more than Sinner as the numbers told the story of Djokovic's rare horror outing at the Rod Laver Arena.
Sinner did not let the momentum slip away despite fluffing a match point in the third-set tie-breaker. The 22-year-old, ranked No. 4 in the world, produced a masterclass, as he broke Djokovic early in the 4th set and did not look back from there.
Sinner was in a similar situation 2 years ago in the Wimbledon quarter-final in 2022. He was leading two-sets-to-love against the Serb, but went on to lose the match in 5 sets. On Friday, Sinner ensured that he did not suffer the same fate while well and truly announcing his arrival at the biggest stage.
Sinner will take on the winner of the other semi-final between Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev in his first-ever Grand Slam final on Sunday.