It would have taken something momentous and someone talented to end Novak Djokovic’s winning streak and record-extending run in major ATP tournaments. The Serb is on a roll, having sealed his 24th US Open title this September and his seventh Paris Masters title in November.
Many top professionals from the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune to Carlos Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev have tried and failed in their quest to triumph over Novak. However, one opponent, who had never won against Djokovic, managed to produce a masterclass performance on Tuesday against the Serb.
Jannik Sinner ends Novak Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak
Taking to the center court on Tuesday night at the Nitto ATP Finals, Jannik Sinner might have felt the nerves. In his past three meetings with Novak Djokovic, the Italian had been soundly trounced thrice and had to create history to defeat the 36-year-old for the first time.
Nevertheless, the past was firmly out of his mind as Jannik Sinner battled back and forth with Novak Djokovic on a chilly night in Turin, Italy. With the home crowd fervently backing him, Jannik edged past the finish line in a marathon three-setter, with two sets going to a tiebreak. In the end, after a gruelling three hours, he won 7-5, 6(5)-7, 7-6(2).
Jannik addressed the crowd in Italian after the match, where every word of his was met by a rapturous response from the audience.
“Thank you for the support. The match was intense,” he said.
Novak Djokovic certainly felt the heat in Turin as a riotous crowd, who were backing their homeboy, booed him incessantly and the Serb had an interesting response to the crowd’s behaviour.
Novak Djokovic taunts crowd with unusual act
While Novak Djokovic and crowds do not generally sync well, the Serb is a legend nevertheless in fans’ minds. However, after trouble with crowds in the Paris Masters and the US Open, Novak was expected to have a tough time against Jannik Sinner, with the crowd backing the orange-haired Italian.
In an unusual act, as Novak retreated to his chair for a break during the match, the crowd’s rowdy behaviour gained intensity as they viciously booed the champion. Novak responded in his typical irreverent fashion by mimicking an orchestral symphony with his hands to the audience’s boos.
The commentator was in splits and laughed at the Serb’s response, but it was yet another instance where the 24-time grand slam champion had to deal with negative crowd reaction.
Novak’s loss meant he lost out on the opportunity to take home the $4,801,500 cash prize for the undefeated champion but can still battle to win the $2,201,000 prize and 1500 ATP points.
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