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Jannik Sinner Dethrones Novak Djokovic in Australian Open Stunner

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Jannik Sinner of Italy shakes hands with Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their Semifinal singles match during the 2024 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

No champion shines as brightly as Novak Djokovic in Melbourne.

Today, Jannik Sinner shoved Djokovic into the shadows of obscurity on Rod Laver Arena then pulled the plug on the world No. 1’s electric Australian Open run with calm command.

Playing with relaxed intensity, Sinner shredded Djokovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3 dethroning the defending AO champion to charge into his maiden major final at the Australian Open.

“It was very, very tough match,” Sinner told Hall of Famer Jim Courier afterward. “I started off really well. For two sets I felt 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 for the next set which Is started off really well and obviously the atmosphere was so so great to play here. I was looking forward for this match it’s always nice to have this kind of player where you can learn from. I lost last year in the semis at Wimbledon [to Djokovic] so I think I learned a lot from that.

“It’s all part of the process. I’m really happy to share this here with you guys and also with my team.”

The 22-year-old Sinner, who has won nine of his last 10 matches against Top 5-ranked players, will face Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.

The third-seeded Medvedev rallied from two sets down to defeat Olympic gold medal champion Alexander Zverev 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 to reach his third Australian Open final.

The lanky Sinner lasered drives turning Happy Slam into horror show for the 10-time champion basically beating Djokovic at his own game.

Stinging drives with menacing intent, Sinner denied the Serbian superstar his shot at a record 25th career Grand Slam crown while making history as the first Italian—man or woman—to advance to an Australian Open singles final.

Sinner stands alone as the only man to ever defeat 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic in an Australian Open semifinal.

“[Feels] awesome,” said Sinner, who improved to 26-2 since the 2023 US Open. “I don’t know what to say, really. I came here, I started off in Kooyong with a couple of exhibition matches and trying 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 I can play Sunday my first final and let’s see how it goes. I’m really happy, I come here with a smile and try my best.”

The biggest shock of this semifinal stunner wasn’t that Sinner won, it’s how effortless his execution was, how listless Djokovic looked for two sets and the fact the greatest returner of the Open Era could not get a sniff of a break point on Sinner’s serve.

Facing the game’s greatest returner and almost invincible AO champion, Sinner was inspired. The lanky Italian drilled nine aces against one double fault, won 69 percent of second-serve points and did not face a break point in a stirring three hour, 22-minute triumph.

Playing clean combinations, Sinner snapped Djokovic’s 33-match Australian Open winning streak handing the defending champion his first AO loss since he fell to Hyeon Chung in the 2018 round of 16.

It was Sinner’s third victory in his last four meetings with Djokovic and comes nearly two months to the day after a defiant Sinner saved three match points sparking a three-game surge shocking Djokovic 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 to level Italy with Serbia, 1-1, in the best-of-three-match Davis Cup semifinals.

In recent months, Sinner has played streak buster to Djokovic. The 22-year-old Sinner ended Djokovic’s 21-match Davis Cup winning streak in November, 11 days after he snapped the Serbian’s 19-match winning streak at the ATP Finals in Turin.

The top seed was 14-0 vs. Top 10 opponents at the Australian Open since 2014, but Sinner made the statement start in this semifinal.

An unwavering Sinner slashed an ace then hit a strong serve out wide to earn match point No. 2 nearly one hour after his first match point in the tiebreaker.

Fighting off a deep return, Sinner flicked a forehand from his ankles, reset then fired one final forehand winner wrapping his biggest career win with one last big bang.

Savoring his maiden major final appearance, Sinner was looking forward to kicking back and enjoying his Friday night as a tennis fan watching Medvedev and Zverev go at it.

“I will watch it for sure,” Sinner said. “I’m a huge tennis fan so it’s good to watch for me. I’m a bit more relaxed now, but they are such incredible players.

“They have met already so many times it’s gonna be really interesting. Sasha he is playing back at 100 percent, he’s playing great and also Daniil. Hopefully, it’s gonna be a great match and then we see what’s coming on Sunday.”