SF Preview: Can Jannik Sinner Upset Novak Djokovic At Wimbledon? | ATP Tour | Tennis

Solely three males have pushed Novak Djokovic to a fifth set through the Serbian’s 33-match Wimbledon win streak: Rafael Nadal within the 2018 semi-finals, Roger Federer within the epic 2019 last and… Jannik Sinner in final 12 months’s quarters.

Whereas Djokovic by no means trailed within the set rating on these events towards his Massive 3 rivals, he discovered himself two-sets-to-love down towards Sinner final 12 months on Centre Court docket earlier than storming again for a five-set win. Can the Italian change the result on Friday if he finds himself in the same place this 12 months on the London lawns?

“To start with, you must go up two units to like,” he joked after beating Roman Safiullin to achieve his first main semi-final.

“It’ll be a very completely different match than final 12 months. He is aware of me higher, as I do know him higher additionally. It’ll be additionally somewhat bit tactical. Within the different method, it’s also somewhat bit psychological. If you happen to play towards Novak, it is at all times robust to play right here, particularly in Grand Slams.”

Previous to 2023, Sinner had reached the quarter-finals as soon as at every main however by no means progressed past that stage. In three of these cases, he was crushed by the eventual champion.

Is the 21-year-old able to develop into a serious champion himself? Djokovic appears to assume so.

“He is enjoying on a really excessive stage,” the Serbian mentioned of his opponent. “He likes to play on grass. He likes to play on fast surfaces as a result of he likes to be aggressive and take management of the purpose. From each forehand and backhand, he is smashing the ball actually, actually laborious, attempting to be the one that’s going to dictate the purpose from early on. I do know his recreation properly.

“He is so younger, so in fact it is anticipated that he’ll enhance. He’s bettering, little question, I feel with the serve, he is been serving higher. On grass, it clearly makes a distinction. He is a really full participant.”

However for all of the reward, the World No. 2 left little question that he expects to win. He fought off impressed efforts from Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev within the earlier two rounds, going 4 units in each victories. After beating Rublev, he spoke about how he relishes being the person to beat at Wimbledonthe place he’s in search of his fifth straight males’s singles title and a record-tying eighth total.

Djokovic could also be enjoying even higher than he was final 12 months in London, having entered the grass-court main midway to a calendar-year Grand Slam this 12 months. However Sinner has raised his recreation, too.

“For positive bodily I’ve improved. I am a lot stronger. I can keep on court docket for a lot of hours with out struggling,” he mentioned, discussing the enhancements in his recreation since his earlier assembly with Djokovic 12 months in the past.

“I feel additionally game-wise or tennis-wise I really feel higher. If I’ve to play the slice, I can play it now with out pondering. Earlier than was at all times somewhat bit completely different. I can go to the online realizing that I’ve good volleys. I’ve some good issues now in my recreation, and hopefully I can use it in the suitable method.”

Sinner referred to as dealing with Djokovic at a Grand Slam match “for positive one of many hardest, if not the hardest, problem”, however the Italian has loads of big-match expertise in his personal nook. He’s a seven-time tour-level champion and has reached two ATP Masters 1000 finals, each in Miami (2021, 2023).

A primary main crown would see Sinner rise from his present career-high Pepperstone ATP Rating of No. 8 to World No. 4 — although a runner-up end wouldn’t change his standing. Djokovic, along with bidding for a record-extending twenty fourth Grand Slam males’s singles title, can also be in search of to reclaim the highest spot within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings this week.

The Serbian may have that distinction secured by Friday night time, ought to a win towards Sinner be coupled with a semi-final defeat for World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz towards Daniil Medvedev. However whether it is to be Djokovic vs. Alcaraz in Sunday’s last, the championship matchup would double as a straight shootout for No. 1.

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Printed : 2023-07-13 16:49:00

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