2023 Australian Open men’s final info, form, H2H, what they said, preview: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Novak Djokovic
The Australian Open title as well as the world No 1 ranking will be on the line at Melbourne Park on Sunday and if the Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Novak Djokovic match-up is anything like their previous Grand Slam final, then fans will be in for a treat.
Djokovic will be gunning for his 10th Australian Open crown while he is also eyeing a seventh stint as world No 1 while Tsitsipas wants to deliver a first-ever major trophy for Greece.
“Winning Grand Slams and being the No 1 are probably the two biggest peaks you can climb as a professional tennis player,” Djokovic said.
Tsitsipas’ answer after being asked about the No 1 ranking was: “I’d like that number. It’s a cornerstone final … I’ve been wanting for many years now to put Greek tennis on the map, and me and Maria [Sakkari] have done an incredible job.”
Without further ado, here is all the crucial information ahead of Sunday’s showpiece match on Rod Laver Arena.
World ranking: 4
Career-high ranking: 3
Career singles titles: 9
Grand Slam singles titles: 0
Career prize money: $23,655,204
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 27, 2023
World ranking: 5
Career-high ranking: 1
Career singles titles: 92
Grand Slam singles titles: 21
Career prize money: $164,786,653
27 – @DjokerNole now has the longest men’s singles main draw winning streak at the Australian Open in the Open Era (27 matches since 2019), eclipsing Andre Agassi 26 matches between 2000 and 2004. Crazy.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/d73YcBxngj
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) January 27, 2023
Stefanos Tsitsipas’ path to the Australian Open final
Tsitsipas eased through his first three matches as he defeated Quentin Halys, Rinky Hijikata and Tallon Griekspoor in three sets before his first major test came against Jannik Sinner as he won 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3.
But it was plain sailing against Jiri Lehecka as he won in three sets while Karen Khachanov saved two match points in the semi-final before Tsitsipas got the job done in four sets.
Novak Djokovic’s path to the Australian Open final
It has been an impressive run so far for Novak Djokovic, but he will also admit there have been one or two scratchy moments.
He defeated Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, but was troubled by Enzo Couacaud in the second round as the Frenchman took a set off him, although once he gathered momentum it was one-way traffic.
Grigor Dimitrov, Alex de Minuar and Andrey Rublev were no match while Tommy Paul had his chances early on in the semi-final, but Djokovic eventually breezed to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 win.
After a disappointing end to the 2022 season that saw him exit the ATP Finals in the group stage, the Greek started his year with the United Cup and he won all his matches – including four singles encounters – but Greece lost in the semi-final against in Italy.
Djokovic has lost one match since Roland Garros last year and that came in the final of the Paris Masters against Holger Rune. He won Wimbledon, the Tel Aviv Open, the Astana Open, ATP Finals and Adelaide Internationals.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head
The first match that comes to mind in the Stefanos Tsitsipvs vs Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Novak Djokovic rivalry is the 2021 French Open final. On that occasion he led Djokovic by two sets to love, but ended up losing 6–7 (6–8), 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4.
The H2H statistics don’t make for pretty reading for the Greek as Djokovic leads it 10-2 and the Serbian has also won their last nine encounters with the last a straight-set win at the ATP Finals last year.
What they said
“I respect [Tsitsipas] a lot. He has improved over the years. I actually think he is one of the most interesting guys off the tour, with his interests off the court, his hairstyle and all, but it’s all business on Sunday for both of us. Let the better player win. I think it was the first time I came from two sets to love down in a Grand Slam final. It was also his first Grand Slam final. It was a really physical, emotional, mental battle, it always is with Stefanos.” – Novak Djokovic
“I’m playing great tennis. I’m enjoying myself. I just see no downside or negativity in what I’m trying to do out there. Even if it doesn’t work, I’m very optimistic and positive about any outcome, any opponent that I have to face” – Stefanos Tsitsipas
We have been here before where a Next Gen player takes on one of the all-time greats in a Grand Slam final and more often than not it doesn’t end well for the younger player.
So far Daniil Medvedev is the only player to have managed to get the better of one of the Big Three in a major final as he blitzed Djokovic in the 2021 US Open final.
While Djokovic is looking to make it 10 Australian Open finals played, 10 Australian Open titles won, Tsitsipas has the odds stacked against him.
The Greek’s recent record against Djokovic is quite poor and he lost his only Grand Slam final against the Serbian.
But make no mistake, Tsitsipas does have a chance against the imperious Djokovic as there were chinks his armour against Tommy Paul and Enzo Couacaud.
While Djokovic can come back from two sets down, you feel Tsitsipas needs to make use of every opportunity that comes his way and wrap up the match as soon as possible as once you give the Serbian a sniff, it’s basically over.
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