36-year-old Djokovic defeated 18-year-old Croat Dino Prizmic,36-year-old Djokovic defeated 18-year-old Croat Dino Prizmic, photo:canva

Since winning the first of his record ten men’s singles titles at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic has faced some of the most difficult first-round challenges.

36-year-old Djokovic defeated 18-year-old Croat Dino Prizmic, ranked 178th, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 to start his quest for a record-breaking 25th Grand Slam singles championship.



Djokovic, who had 40 wins to 49 unforced mistakes, said, “Obviously, I struggled in many, many different moments tonight, but it was credit to him due to his incredible gameplan.” “He simply had a response for every question. He had a strong physical presence.


Djokovic won the Australian Open for the 29th time in a row, although it was only the second occasion in the previous 17 years that he had lost a set in the opening round.

Open Draws in Australia: Men | Women

In the third set, Prizmic gave Djokovic even more trouble, breaking serve in a 17-minute game to lead 3-2, but Djokovic prevailed in the following eight games.


Prizmic had an opportunity to make history by being the first person to defeat Djokovic in two sets in a major tournament first round since Viktor Troicki in the 2010 U.S. Open and the first anyone to accomplish so at the Australian Open since American Paul Goldstein in 2006. Half a lifetime ago, Djokovic was eighteen.


According to Tennis Abstract, it was Djokovic’s longest-ever Grand Slam first-round match at four hours and one minute. In fewer than three hours, Djokovic had won 48 of his prior Grand Slam first-round contests.


The junior French Open champion from 2023, Prizmic, was attempting a Grand Slam.

Djokovic remarked, “He deserved every applause and every credit that he got tonight.” He’s a really good player, I have to admit, and very wise for his age. To be honest, this is his moment. It very well might have been his match as well.


The Australian Alexei Popyrin, ranked 43rd, or Marc Polmans, ranked 156th, will be Djokovic’s next opponent.


In the third round, he might face five-time runner-up Andy Murray in the Australian Open, and in the fourth round, he might face American Ben Shelton. In September of last year, Djokovic defeated Shelton in the U.S. Open semifinals, tying Australian Margaret Court for the record for the most major singles titles ever.


Additionally on Sunday, Taylor Fritz, the top-seeded American male at No. 12, required five sets in addition to ankle therapy in order to advance to the next round.

In her first Slam match after taking a mental health leave of absence in May of last year and resuming to compete this month, Amanda Anisimova, another American, defeated Liudmila Samsonova of Russia, ranked at number thirteen. At seventeen, Anisimova made it to the semifinals of the 2019 French Open.


After ending her three-and-a-half-year retirement last summer, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, the 2018 Australian Open winner, advanced in her opening match in Melbourne.



No. 20 Magda Linette of Poland was ahead 6-2, 2-0 on Wozniacki, 33, when Linette, a 2023 Australian Open semifinalist, retired owing to injury.

The Australian Open resumes on Monday (Sunday night in the United States), with matches from Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, the winner of the U.S. Open. Four-time major winner Osaka is competing in her first Slam match since returning from giving birth.

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