Jannik Sinner stuns Novak Djokovic to clinch first Australian Open final appearance

Jannik Sinner takes down Novak Djokovic to enter the championship round of the Australian Open (Getty Images via bbc.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The big fish has been caught.

Jannik Sinner, one of the most promising young superstars in the new era of tennis, just bagged one of the biggest wins of his Grand Slam career after upsetting world no. 1 Novak Djokovic- 6.1, 6.2, 6.7, 6.3- to clinch his first ever grand finals appearance in the Australian Open last January 26, 2024, held in Melbourne.

Sinner was on a roll in the highly-anticipated semifinal clash after dumping Djokovic in the first two sets to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Italian star outdueled Djokovic in the baseline exchanges and had several highlight plays when he pummeled a forehand down the line and scored two straight backhand return aces that demoralized the Serbian legend.

Sinner also capitalized on Djokovic’s slow start and just put on the pressure every time he played a defensive strategy.

In the third set, Sinner was on the verge of completing a 3-0 sweep after reaching the match point but the resilient Djokovic got one last breather when he turned the tables around to win a set, 2-1.

Everyone at the Rod Laver Arena then roared when they thought that Djokovic completely stole the momentum away from the inexperienced Sinner heading into the fourth set.

Little do they know that the world no. 4 ace had other plans and remained calm despite Djokovic’s resurgence.

Sinner kicked off the fourth set exactly the same as the first two as he unleashed consecutive forehand bombs that kept Djokovic away from the net area.

After breaking Djokovic’s first service possession, Sinner would re-capture the momentum and cruised to a 6-3 win in the fourth set.

“It was a very, very tough match. I started off really well. For two sets, I felt like he was not feeling that great on court so I just tried to keep pushing. Then in the third set I had match point and I missed the forehand, but this is tennis. I just tried to be ready also for the next set, which I started off really well. And obviously the atmosphere was so great to play here,” said Sinner after his win.