Novak Djokovic’s profitable streak was halted at 19 matches as dwelling favorite Jannik Sinner was roared to an excellent 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) victory by a partisan ATP Finals crowd on Tuesday.
The earlier Green Group conflict was a non-event as Stefanos Tsitsipas retired injured in opposition to Holger Rune, however the night ticket holders have been handled to a match of jaw-dropping high quality.
After greater than three hours of an absorbing toe-to-toe battle during which neither participant took a backward step it was world quantity 4 Sinner who seized his probability within the deciding set tiebreak lastly to crack Djokovic’s resistance.
Sinner, 14 years Djokovic’s junior, wrapped up his first profession win in opposition to the 24-time Grand Slam champion with a smash — prompting deafening roars from a sell-out crowd who produced an electrifying environment all through.
He strikes prime of the group however isn’t but assured a semi-final spot forward of his remaining round-robin match in opposition to Rune on Thursday. Djokovic, who will finish the 12 months as primary for a record-stretching eighth time, takes on alternate Hubert Hurkacz realizing a win will put him within the semifinals.
Sinner has loved his finest 12 months on Tour and now has 59 match wins in 2023, however none would have given him extra pleasure than taking down six-time ATP Finals champion Djokovic.
The Italian moved 2-0 forward within the deciding tiebreak with a rocket of a forehand return after which gave himself daylight with one other forehand winner to make it 3-0.
Once he moved 5-0 forward not even Djokovic’s powers of restoration may spare the Serb his first loss since defeat by Carlos Alcaraz within the Wimbledon remaining.
“It’s a sort of process, I feel that I’m more confident in certain moments,” Sinner instructed Amazon Prime.
“In the second set tiebreak he played a bit better than me but I think I was brave in the big moments. We were both serving very well, I think we both played really, really well.”
Reigning champion Djokovic didn’t do a lot improper as he battled Sinner and the gang — recurrently jesting with the followers who jeered him all through the duel.
Sinner made his transfer at 5-5 within the opening set as Djokovic briefly misplaced focus after main 40-0 on serve.
A double-fault at deuce was cheered by the gang and Sinner then transformed the break with two punishing backhands. Sinner then held serve to like to maneuver in entrance.
Djokovic raised his degree a notch within the second set and dropped solely 5 factors on his serve earlier than the tiebreak which he edged to increase the competition right into a decider.
Sinner broke for a 4-2 lead however Djokovic broke again instantly. When Sinner then moved 6-5 forward on serve, Djokovic sat in his chair and carried out the jeers earlier than a relaxed service maintain despatched an epic tussle right into a shoot-out.
The good cash would have been on Djokovic to make a 20-match unbeaten streak for the ninth time in his profession, however Sinner had different concepts as he chalked up one of many greatest wins of a profession that now appears on the verge of lift-off.
“To beat the world number one, who has 24 Grand Slams, that means a lot, it’s one of the top (wins),” he mentioned.
The match statistics summed up the standard on supply with a mixed 83 winners and solely 25 unforced errors in a contest lasting three hours and 9 minutes.