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Jannik Sinner snaps Novak Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak with victory at ATP Finals
Sinner battled past Djokovic in a three-set epic for his first career victory over the 24-time Grand Slam champion.
Published Nov 14, 2023
Jannik Sinner has battled past Novak Djokovic in an absolute epic at the ATP Finals, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), for his first career win over the 24-time Grand Slam champion and current world No. 1.
The 22-year-old is the first player to defeat Djokovic in 121 days, since Carlos Alcaraz beat him in a five-set epic in the Wimbledon final—Djokovic had won his last 19 matches in a row since then.
But Sinner was just too good in the end, snapping that winning streak with a three-hour, eight-minute victory for his first win in four career meetings with the six-time ATP Finals champion. It was also his second career win over a reigning No. 1, having beaten a No. 1-ranked Alcaraz in the semifinals of Miami earlier this year.
“It means a lot to me,” Sinner said of his win over Djokovic in front of his home crowd in Turin. “When you win against the world No. 1 and he won 24 Grand Slams, it’s obviously in the top, top.”
Sinner has now won his last five matches against Top 5 players.
SINNER’S WINNING STREAK VS TOP 5 PLAYERS:
d. No. 2 Alcaraz in Beijing SFs, 7-6 (4), 6-1
d. No. 3 Medvedev in Beijing F, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2)
d. No. 5 Rublev in Vienna SFs, 7-5, 7-6 (5)
d. No. 3 Medvedev in Vienna F, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-3
d. No. 1 Djokovic in ATP Finals RR, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2)
Sinner is now 2-0 in their round-robin group, having defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in his first round-robin match, 6-4, 6-4, but no one from the group has qualified for the semifinals yet—it will all come down to Thursday’s matches between Sinner and Holger Rune and Djokovic and first alternate Hubert Hurkacz.
In a match where both players won exactly the same amount of points, 109 to 109, there was very little separating them throughout the three-hour-plus battle, with only three breaks of serve the entire match—Sinner snuck out a late break at 5-all en route to taking the first set, and the two traded breaks midway through the third set.
But once it got to the third set tie-break Sinner took his game to another level, storming out to a 5-0 lead and never looking back.
Djokovic actually finished the match with a better winners-to-unforced errors differential of +16 (42 to 26), while Sinner was still very much in the positives at +6 (39 to 33). And they were both serving bombs—Djokovic finished with 20 aces to just one double fault, while Sinner fired 15 aces to just two double faults.
Sinner is now the only player this year to have wins over Djokovic, Alcaraz and Medvedev, the current Top 3 on the ATP rankings—he’s actually beaten Alcaraz and Medvedev twice each in 2023.
The Italian is currently ranked right behind them at No. 4.