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Novak Djokovic makes claim about three rivals after Jannik Sinner ends winning streak

Novak Djokovic claimed his rivals have put a target on his back after his 19-match winning streak came to an end – but he wouldn’t have it any other way. The Serbian superstar was beaten for the first time in four months as he lost to Jannick Sinner in the ATP Finals. 

Home favourite Sinner won 7-5 6-7(5) 7-6(2) in Turin to hand Djokovic his first loss since the Wimbledon final. It was also the first time Djokovic has lost at the ATP Finals since 2021.

After the match, Djokovic reflected on the fact that there is extra motivation for players when they take him on. And he name-dropped Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune as the trio who particularly step up their game to cause him problems. 

“It seems like Holger Rune, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner are extra motivated when they play you,” Djokovic said. “I think it’s normal, they want to get to where I got to. 

“This happens everywhere I play. Everyone wants my head. Jannik got it today. But I’m happy with how I fought.”

Sinner appeared to agree with Djokovic’s assessment. After the game, he admitted it was the biggest win of his career so far.

“It’s a great privilege for me to play here in Turin,” he said. “I expected a very tough match but with the crowd trying to help me it was easier. 

“I tried to put everything in the right direction and when things go like this and there is an Italian playing, the atmosphere becomes truly wonderful. I’m happy to be able to be part of this. 

“Putting all the circumstances together, playing in Turin against the number one who has won 24 Slams, we can say that this is the top. Even if I had lost the match it would still have been good in my head. Because for me the goal was to stay close to him and fight.”

For his part, Djokovic admitted that Sinner was a deserving winner. Dissecting the match as a whole, the Serbian said: “Last time we were in the semifinals at Wimbledon, I won in three sets but it was hard fought. A few points made the difference. 

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“I think on that occasion, he played like today, but this time perhaps he served better & was more courageous on the important points. He deserved to win because on the important points I gave him the opportunity to take control of the points. 

“I was in the exchange and I should have put my foot down. I didn’t & he did. He absolutely deserved to win. 

“In this type of match there are few opportunities. If you don’t take them, the other will. In certain moments I have to be more decisive. But that’s okay, sometimes you win & sometimes you lose.

“Most of the time I’ve won games like this. I don’t think I did too many things wrong. He was simply brave when he had to be.”



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