April 19, 2024
Wimbledon 2023 - Jannik Sinner: Here's how it can work with the shot against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals

He’s a powerful shadow cast by Novak Djokovic at the venerable All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The 36-year-old goes into the semi-finals with four Wimbledon titles in a row and 33 match wins in a row (Fridays from 14:30 CET in the ticker).

More than ten years (!) have passed since Djokovic left center court as an underdog. It was July 7, 2013, when he was defeated in the final by Andy Murray.

One who has come closest to toppling the Serb on Church Road in the recent past than almost anyone else is Jannik Sinner. A year ago he led 2-0 sets against Djokovic in the quarterfinals – and still lost.


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On Friday the South Tyrolean tries again to achieve the impossible. At least in their perception, the chances have increased.

Sinner: “Watch the match again”

“I learned from last year’s lesson and have improved in many areas,” she points out Sinner in an exclusive interview with Eurosport. This applies to both physical and mental aspects. “Now I’m one of the top ten players,” he adds on the night of the world rankings, noting that he now sees less distance to Belgrade’s top-flight player.

Now he wants to turn the bitterness of the 2022 season defeat into an advantage. Then he will “rewatch the match” before the rematch against Djokovic. A smart move, as German tennis legend Boris Becker thinks.

“Sinner has certainly thought a lot about last year’s duel against Djokovic and I see it as something positive. He will be able to demonstrate how much he has learned and take this burden off his shoulders”, underlines the three-time Wimbledon champion in an interview with “Cielo Italia”. Whether Sinner finds the “right frame of mind” to grasp the feeling is another matter.

Annoying Djokovic? Hurkacz proves it

In any case, Sinner went through an effective learning process in a playful way. “I serve better. When I go to the net I know I can count on a decent volley. That was mediocre in the last duel. Also, I’m able to mix up my game with dropshots or slices if needed,” explains the Italian Together with his coaches Simone Vagnozzi and Darren Cahill, he developed a tutorial that is now paying off.

Wilander: That’s the crucial question with Djokovic versus Sinner

Above all, the improved service game is a real pound on the grass and a proven means to challenge Djokovic. This was impressively demonstrated by Hubert Hurkacz, who forced the Serbian to a tie-break twice in the round of 16 and then snatched another set from him.

Wilander foresees a good start for Sinner

Eurosport pundit Mats Wilander he also sees Sinner in a position to endanger Djokovic. “I would be surprised if Jannik doesn’t start well in the semifinals, because Novak has been a bit slow to come out of the starting blocks in some games. This could be due to his age or tight schedule with many games late,” said the seven times winner of the Grand Slam tournament.

But the real challenge awaits later in the meeting. “It gets harder the longer it takes. If the opponent doesn’t act so hard and precisely anymore, or relaxes a bit in the head, then Novak is there,” Wilander emphasizes. “In these phases he hardly allows himself more mistakes.” Even the 2-0 against the exceptional player is far from reassuring.

What does this mean for sinners? He has to “be able to play the best tennis under stress because nerves are stretched to the breaking point when you’re on the verge of a Wimbledon final,” says Wilander. However, he has some doubts that at the moment there is a player up to it.

Before the duel, Sinner practices optimism and sees it as a privilege to be able to challenge the champions in the All England Club. “I am happy to play my first semi-final here on a special pitch against a special player”.

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