January 14, 2024
Novak Djokovic has just played the longest first-round match of his career at Grand Slams.
And the crazy thing is, the match against unknown teenager Dino Prizmic didn’t even go to five sets!
On the face of it, Novak’s 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 victory doesn’t look too demanding, apart from the tie-break setback.
Even so, it took Djokovic four hours and one minute to overcome the Croatian sensation.
That’s because he had to battle relentlessly for practically every point and game against a young man who clearly possesses a strength way beyond his years.
Dino even led the match briefly in the third set. And we all began to wonder whether an extraordinary upset was on the cards.
No wonder Djokovic wanted the crowd to applaud the underdog at the end. The favourite was relieved to get this potential banana skin out of the way.
And incredibly, despite all the drama, Djokovic still hasn’t lost an Australian Open match since 2018.
But some of Novak’s rivals for the Aussie Open title will be hoping he will has to pay for all this expended energy later in the Australian Open fortnight.
Novak Djokovic is no stranger to gruelling physical tests on the tennis court. He can expect more at Wimbledon 2024 this summer!
But even for a veteran as fit as the evergreen Serb, this was a contest that took him to the limits of his endurance far earlier than he had expected.
Djokovic admitted: ‘He certainly made me run for my money! I started OK for a 36-year-old. Jeez, to think I’m twice his age!
‘I’d like to be in his corner going forward, he is going to do great things and he can still improve.
‘It felt like playing myself in the mirror at some stages of the match. He doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses – maybe he can serve a bit better. I told him he should be proud of himself. He’s a great player.
‘I feel exhausted. It was a very physical battle. For an 18-year-old boy who never had any Grand Slam experience it’s amazing. He has so much potential.’
Nick Kyrgios said from the commentary box: ‘He is one of my favourite players now. For two and a half hours he was on top! But Novak being Novak, he found a way.’
Novak Djokovic locked into more gladiatorial classics at Wimbledon 2024! That’s what we are already looking forward to in a few months time.
But the Australian Open is always a wonderful appetiser for the European Grand Slam action. And Wimbledon 2024 promises to be the most magical of them all this year.
Will you be there to savour the drama and history of the All England Club this summer?
You can secure your ticket with a call to our friendly staff – and then anticipate one of the experiences of a lifetime at Wimbledon 2024!