Novak Djokovic, aiming for a historic 25th Grand Slam singles title, faced a formidable challenge in his Australian Open first-round match against 18-year-old Croat Dino Prizmic. The 36-year-old Serbian ultimately secured victory after a four-hour, one-minute battle, marking the longest Grand Slam first-round match of Djokovic’s illustrious career.
Despite the physical and strategic challenges posed by Prizmic, Djokovic displayed resilience, winning 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4. Acknowledging the young Croat’s exceptional gameplan, Djokovic commented on the difficulty he faced, stating, “Obviously, I struggled in many, many different moments tonight, but it was credit to him due to his incredible gameplan… He just had an answer for everything. He was very physical.”
Djokovic extended his impressive record at the Australian Open, securing his 29th consecutive match victory at the tournament. Notably, he dropped a set in the first round for only the second time in the last 17 years, emphasizing the intensity of the encounter.
Prizmic, the 2023 French Open junior champion, showcased his talent by breaking Djokovic’s serve in the third set, momentarily gaining a 3-2 lead. However, Djokovic responded by winning the next eight games, sealing the match in his favor.
Commending Prizmic’s performance, Djokovic remarked, “He deserved every applause, every credit that he got tonight. He’s an amazing player, I must say, so mature for his age… This is his moment, honestly. It could have easily been his match as well.”
With this victory, Djokovic advances to face an Australian opponent, either Alexei Popyrin or Marc Polmans, in the next round. The Serbian maestro is on a quest to add another major title to his illustrious career and is set to face potential challenges in the upcoming rounds, including a potential clash with five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray.
As the Australian Open unfolds, Djokovic’s journey to secure a historic milestone continues, and tennis enthusiasts await the unfolding drama of this prestigious tournament.