DEPOMINERS Boxing Boris Becker ‘surprised’ by Novak Djokovic’s reaction after Jannik Sinner defeat

Boris Becker ‘surprised’ by Novak Djokovic’s reaction after Jannik Sinner defeat

Boris Becker ‘surprised’ by Novak Djokovic’s reaction after Jannik Sinner defeat post thumbnail image
Tennis star Novak Djokovic
The Serbian was dumped out of the Australian Open on Friday (Picture: Getty)

Boris Becker was taken by surprise at how upbeat Novak Djokovic appeared after his Australian Open defeat to Jannik Sinner, while he praised the young Italian for his dominant display.

Djokovic, who was bidding for a record-extending 11th title in Melbourne, was beaten 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 in Friday’s semi-final to suffer his first defeat at the tournament in six years.

The 36-year-old was second best throughout the contest despite rallying briefly in the third set and conceded afterwards that it was one of his worst-ever performances at a Grand Slam.

Despite that, he took the loss magnanimously, congratulating Sinner and smiling and waving to the Australian Open crowd – a reaction that surprised his former coach.

Asked about the shots of Djokovic smiling as he made his way to the post-match press conference, Becker told Eurosport: ‘These are surprising pictures. I don’t usually see him this relaxed after defeats.

‘Perhaps he has realised that he doesn’t have the form at the moment and that he didn’t lose due to bad luck, but that the other player was simply better today.

‘That’s what makes a champion, recognising that today just wasn’t his day.’

Tennis star Novak Djokovic
Djokovic salutes the Melbourne crowd after his defeat (Picture: Getty)

On the match itself, Becker continued: ‘I’m not surprised that Jannik Sinner won, but I am surprised by the way he did it.

‘The likeable South Tyrolean was already knocking on the door last year and is now growing up. He kept cool and served well right to the end.

‘The fact that Novak Djokovic – the best return player of all time – didn’t have a single break point against Sinner is the story of the match.

‘In terms of form, it wasn’t Djokovic’s best Australian Open. He struggled with his form, his rhythm and his serve in almost all of his matches. And then today he came up against a stronger opponent.’

Fellow pundit Tim Henman added: ‘When we talk about one of the greatest returners in the sport, not to have had a break point for the whole match, for me Djokovic only getting three games in the first two sets in a Grand Slam is unheard of.

‘Djokovic kept fighting the best he could, but it was a poor performance, he said himself, it was his worst ever Grand Slam performance.

‘Credit to Sinner he played amazing tennis, he didn’t give him anything. Looking at the stats, over 50 unforced errors for Djokovic, that is so surprising – it just goes to show he’s human and can’t always play perfectly – and Sinner was there to take advantage.’

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