Teenager makes Djokovic sweat

Henry

He had to work harder for it than many thought, but Novak Djokovic is through to the second round of the Australian Open.

The defending champion beat 18-year-old Dino Prizmic 6-2, 7-6, 6-3 and 6-4 in Melbourne, but the young Croatian made him sweat especially in the second set.

Prizmic refused to lay down and he stood his ground against Djokovic blow for blow to deservedly clinch the second set.

Still, the 36-year-old Serbian is not the ten-time champion at Melbourne Park for nothing and his fitness and experience ultimately played a decisive role in the showdown.

The match lasted four hours and one minute: The longest opening match of the world number one’s illustrious career.

Needless to say, Djokovic was full of praise for his young opponent.

“Dino is an incredible player and he plays with unprecedented maturity for his age; he undoubtedly deserves everyone’s applause,” said the defending champion.

“He deserves his moment in the spotlight and he could easily have walked away with the laurels now too. He refused to throw in the towel; even when the score was 4-0 in the fourth set and that shows incredible resilience.”

However, it was Djokovic’s 29th win in a row in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Harris tightened his belts against Quentin Halys. The final score was 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 and 7-6 in the Frenchman’s favour.

  • Results:

Men:

Novak Djokovic beats Dino Prizmic 6-2, 7-6, 6-3 and 6-4

Jannik Sinner beats Botic van de Zandschulp with 6-4, 7-5 and 6-3

Francisco Cerundolo beats Dane Sweeny 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2

Andrey Rublev beat Thiago Seyboth Wild 7-5, 6-4, 3-6. 4-6 and 7-6

Taylor Fritz beats Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4

Quentin Halys beat Lloyd Harris 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 and 7-6

Women:

Amanda Anisimova beat Liudmilla Samsonova 6-3 and 6-4

Maria Sakkari beat Nao Hibino 6-4 and 6-1

Barbora Krejcikova beat Mai Hontama 2-6, 6-4 and 6-3