Djokovic, it is fair to say, was not a happy customer on Thursday afternoon after he beat the alternate, Hubert Hurkacz, in three sets. The dropped set meant that qualification was put out of his hands and he proceeded to give some distinctly snippy post-match interviews. But it turned out all right when Rune was defeated by Sinner later that night.
The tale of the tape: Djokovic leads Sinner 3-1 in their head-to-head.
Djokovic won at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2021, in two sets, then at Wimbledon in 2022 and 2023. The quarter-final in 2022 was a five-setter when Djokovic hit back from two sets down in typically tenacious style. The semi-final this year was in straight sets.
But Sinner, of course, had Djokovic’s number earlier this week, which is what makes today’s match so fascinating.
Australia have just beaten India by six wickets to win the ODI Cricket World Cup!
Novak Djokovic has today’s opponent, Jannik Sinner, to thank for the fact he’s still here. Following the Serb’s group stage defeat by the Italian, Djokovic would have been eliminated had Holger Rune beaten Sinner on Thursday night.
As things turned out the home favourite won in three, which meant Djokovic joined him, Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals of this season-closing event in northern Italy. Djokovic blew away Alcaraz (the man who beat him in an epic Wimbledon final) while the Russian, Medvedev, was dispatched by the increasingly confident Sinner.
Which brings us to today’s final. Djokovic already has the Australian Open, French Open and US Open in the trophy cabinet this year. Can the world No 4 find a way past the irrepressible Serb and prompt a smattering of erroneous ‘changing of the guard’ headlines? We’re about to find out.
Match start: 5pm UK time