Djokovic confidently prepares for Tsitsipas in Australian Open final
MELBOURNE, Australia – Novak Djokovic will be strong favorites to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open final on Sunday and equalize Rafael Nadal’s number 22 Grand Slam titles.
The 35-year-old Serb, who has won all nine previous finals at Melbourne Park, will return to world number one if he beats the Greek in the third set.
But Tsitsipas, who lost to Djokovic in his only previous major final, at the French Open in 2021, will top the charts for the first time if he can overcome the sadness.
“Winning a Grand Slam and being number one in the world are probably the two greatest heights you can achieve as a professional tennis player,” Djokovic said.
The 4th seed, who missed last year’s Australian Open when he was expelled for his stance on a Covid vaccine, believes his superior experience at this stage of the tournament benefits him. significant position.
“I think the experience of being in this particular situation and circumstances before would help a lot,” he said.
“I also think the fact that I’ve never lost in an Australian Open final will definitely give a great confidence boost ahead of Sunday.”
Tsitsipas will have something to say about that as he pursues his first Grand Slam crown.
The 24-year-old believes he has matured as a player as well as a person and is now better suited for the big stage in his quest to become the first Greek player to win a major title.
“I couldn’t be more ready for this moment,” said Tsitsipas, the youngest player to reach the Melbourne final since 23-year-old Djokovic in 2011.
“This is a very humbling opportunity for me, reaching the final here means a lot.
“Starting here as one of my first youth Grand Slams and now reaching the men’s final is as important as taking my first steps on the tennis court.
“I will take this opportunity.”
Djokovic can be a strong favorite given his extensive experience and success on hard courts in Melbourne, while he also holds a 10-2 career record against Tsitsipas.
But he has struggled with a hamstring injury and off-court distractions after his father caused a scandal when he was pictured next to a fan with a Russian flag featuring his face. Vladimir Putin.
Tsitsipas said he was ready to cause trouble.
“I am playing great tennis. I am enjoying myself. I just see no downside or negative in what I’m trying to do out there,” he said.
“I really believe in what I can produce. It is too enough.”
Both players are unbeaten this season, so something will need to be dedicated.
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