Novak Djokovic strangely admires Stefanos Tsitsipas’ hairstyle ahead of Australian Open final…as nine-time champion sends ominous warning to his Greek rivals
Novak Djokovic has described Stefanos Tsitsipas as “one of the most interesting people” in tennis, but he will be “all the work” when the two face off in Sunday’s Australian Open final. warned his rivals not to expect any favors.
The Serb pushed past Tommy Paul in straight sets on Friday night to reach his 10th final at Melbourne Park and his fourth in the past five years.
Early on Friday, Tsitsipas had to try much harder to beat Karen Kachanov 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3. If he beats Djokovic on Sunday, he will secure the No. 1 spot in the world rankings. .
Novak Djokovic beats Tommy Paul to reach 10th Australian Open final
‘he [Tsitsipas] Djokovic told Jim Courier on the court right after he beat Paul.
However, he warned that there was no room for emotion on Sunday night.
“For both of us, Sundays are all work,” he continued.
Winning a Grand Slam and being number one in the world are probably two big mountains you can climb as a professional tennis player. Stefanos, see you in two days.
Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Karen Kachanov 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to advance to the final
Greek becomes world number one if he beats Djokovic in Sunday’s final
Sunday will be Djokovic’s 33rd Grand Slam final, but Tsitsipas’ second to reach a major tournament decider.
His only appearance in a Grand Slam final was at the French Open two years ago, when he led in two sets and lost to Djokovic.
And the Serb has hinted that another grueling test awaits him as he aims to win a record 10th title at Melbourne Park.
“It was a battle between mental and physical,” Djokovic said as he reflected on his 2021 clay-court victory.
“I am always with Stefanos and I have a lot of respect for him.”
The Greek squandered a two-set lead in the final of the 2021 French Open, losing to Djokovic in five sets.
Djokovic taunted the crowd Friday night after being booed at the end of the first set
Tsitsipas reveled in the prospect of resuming his rivalry with the 21-time Grand Slam champion, claiming, “These are the moments I’ve worked hard for.”
The world number four has fallen at the semi-final hurdle in three of his last four appearances at Melbourne Park, but has faced a tough test to reach the final of the major he has enjoyed for many years. I got over it.
“To be able to play in a final like this, but a final is so much more than just a final,” he said.
“This is a Grand Slam final. I’m fighting for number one. It’s been a childhood dream to one day be number one. I’m close.”
However, the Serb received a lot of support from the fans, who yelled at him.
“We are delighted that this opportunity is here in Australia and not elsewhere, but where it matters.”
Djokovic was involved in some controversial moments on court Friday. Djokovic was reprimanded for breaking the clock on his shot and rode Laver after he taunted the crowd in the arena before he had a frosty exchange with the referee.
Djokovic, who was leading 5-1 in the first set, was shaken by a broken serve clock when he went to get a towel.
The 35-year-old seemed to insist that the clock should start after collecting towels courtside.
Djokovic took the lead as Paul won four games in a row, but eventually won the first set 7-5 amid a chorus of boos.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner was clearly unimpressed by the crowd’s reaction and appeared to be pursing his ears and mocking the crowd.
But with Serbian flags dotted all over Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic had a lot of encouragement and cheers.
Asked about the enthusiastic support he has received from fans, Serb said, “Especially at this stage in my career, it means everything.
“I need that energy. I’m so grateful that my legs still have enough gas to play at this level on one of the biggest tennis courts in the world.”