Djokovic survives tough opening battle, Sinner advances at Australian Open

Posted : 14 January 2024

Novak Djokovic, the holder of 24 Grand Slam titles, faced an unexpectedly tough challenge in his opening match at the Australian Open against 18-year-old Croatian Dino Prizmic. Despite being the favorite on paper, Djokovic struggled, losing the second set and falling behind 3-2 in the third. However, the Serbian tennis legend regrouped, winning the next eight games to secure a hard-fought 6-2, 7-5 (5), 3-6, 6-4 victory.

 

In another notable match, world No. 4 Jannik Sinner overcame a spirited challenge from Botić van de Zandschulp, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-3. Despite committing 22 unforced errors, the Italian managed to advance to the next round, expressing satisfaction with his performance in the first game of the season.

 

The tournament also witnessed the exit of Marin Čilić, who may be participating in his last Australian Open, losing to Hungary's Fabian Marošan 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. Meanwhile, a dramatic encounter unfolded between Andrey Rublev (5) and Thiago Cybet Wilde, with the Brazilian staging a comeback from two sets down, saving four match points, but ultimately losing in a super-tiebreaker 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6).

 

On the women's side, last year's champion Aryna Sabalenka cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Germany's Ella Seidel, while Maria Sakkari (6) defeated Japan's Nao Hibino 6-7 (5), 6-2. Canadian Leyla Fernandez (32) faced a challenge but secured a 6-7 (5), 6-2 win over Sarah Bielek. Additionally, the comeback of Caroline Wozniacki saw her leading 6-2, 2-0 before Magda Linette retired. Czech Barbora Krejcikova (9) battled through a three-set match against Japan's Mai Huntama, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.

 

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