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Monday, June 24, 2024

‘Stefanos Tsitsipas will win a Major,’ says Djokovic’s coach

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has reached two Major finals, standing among ten active players who have achieved that. The Greek faced Novak Djokovic both times and experienced losses. Stefanos led two sets to love against Novak at Roland Garros 2021 before the Serb turned the tables and celebrated in five sets.

On Sunday, two rivals met in the Australian Open final, and Novak produced a 6-3, 7-6, 7-6 victory for his 22nd Major crown. Novak’s coach Goran Ivanisevic praised Tsitsipas, saying he plays excellent tennis and seeing him as a future Major champion.

Djokovic toppled Tsitsipas in two hours and 56 minutes, taming his strokes nicely and prevailing in the crucial moments. Novak broke Stefanos twice and lost serve only once in the third set’s early stages. The Greek had a set point on the return at 5-4 in the second set, missing it and finishing runner-up for the second time in the Major finals.

Novak hit 36 winners and 22 unforced errors and built the advantage in the mid-range exchanges from five to eight strokes. Djokovic made a convincing start, serving well in the opener and keeping the pressure on the other side.

Tsitsipas defended two break points in the second game to avoid an early setback. However, he hit a double fault at 1-2 to fall behind. Djokovic brought the set home with a booming serve in game nine after 36 minutes. Stefanos produced six comfortable holds in the second set and created a set point on the return at 5-4.

Novak denied it with a forehand down the line winner and gained a boost. Djokovic forged a 4-1 advantage in the tie break before Tsitsipas climbed back to 4-4. The Greek missed an easy forehand in the ninth point and placed a backhand long in the next one to offer the Serb two set points.

Goran Ivanisevic praised Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Australian Open final.

Novak fired a service winner to wrap up the breaker 7-4 and build a massive advantage after an hour and 46 minutes. Djokovic took a bathroom break and lost his focus for a moment.

Tsitsipas broke him at the start of the third set before losing serve a few minutes later. The Greek served to extend the battle at 4-5, having no room for errors. He landed two winners at 30-30 and introduced another tie break with a fine hold at 5-6.

Novak grabbed two early mini-breaks and raced into a 5-0 lead, using his vast experience and the advantage from the previous sets. The Serb lost the following three points before creating three match points with a forehand down the line winner at 5-3.

Stefanos denied the first two with brave hitting and reduced the deficit to 6-5. Novak sealed the deal on his third match point at 6-5 to emerge at the top and celebrate the 22nd Major title. “Novak can play at this level for two or three more years.

He is taking care of his body and approaches food and everything at an unbelievably detailed level. The younger players are here, but Novak and Rafa are still battling. The Australian Open was Novak’s court, and we are heading to Rafa’s next.

Novak and Rafa have pushed each other, and there are the upcoming stars. Stefanos Tsitsipas will win a Major in the future; he is an amazing player,” Goran Ivanisevic said.

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