Tennis fans might be seeing the ascension of a new king of tennis and that player is not Carlos Alcaraz. Alcaraz has not proven he can consistently defeat Novak Djokovic the way Jannik Sinner has over the last few months. If a player cannot beat Djokovic at most events they will not likely get to the top of tennis. Sinner can.
In one semifinal at the Australian Open, Sinner beat Djokovic 6-1 6-2 6-7(6) 6-3. Sinner never faced a break point while Djokovic struggled mightily with his first serve in the first two sets. To make the issue worse, when Djokovic did land a first serve, Sinner often punished the return. The Serb said post-match that he was "shocked with (his) level" and the match was "one of the worst Grand Slam matches (he's) ever played."
Still, Djokovic did rightfully re-direct any blame for the loss on himself and instead gave credit to the young Italian. Sinner simply struck the ball cleaner and moved around the court better than did Djokovic. Plus, while Djokovic struggled to win his first serve, Sinner landed a lower percentage than Djokovic (68 percent to 58), but Sinner won much more than Djokovic (83 to 67).
Jannik Sinner will play Daniil Medvedev in Australian Open final
Jannik Sinner has now beaten Novak Djokovic in three of their last four meetings. The victory in the Australian Open semifinal, however, was by far the most important win. Sinner will play in the first Grand Slam of his career on Sunday.
The person he will play in the final is Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev was able to come back from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev 5-7 3-6 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-3. Medvedev has been the master of late matches over the Australian Open fortnight as he has played several that did not end until midnight or well after. His experience and calm could make the final tough for Sinner.
Zverev was the more aggressive player against Medvedev, but that ended up costing him the longer the match wore on. He finished with 70 unforced errors compared to only 41 for Medvedev. At least with the loss, tennis will not have a potential PR issue with Zverev having a chance to win the first Grand Slam of the year.