Novak Djokovic’s coach finally reveals the truth behind his mystery ‘illness’ following claims he was unwell before losing to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open

  • Djokovic was upstaged by the 22-year-old 6-1, 6-2, 6-6 (8-6), 6-3
  • The 36-year-old has not lost in Australia since a fourth round six years ago
  • He described it as ‘one of the worst Grand Slam matches’ he had ever played

Novak Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has addressed claims the record Grand Slam champion was hampered by illness during his Australian Open semi-final against Jannik Sinner.

The Serbian was in uncharacteristic form against the eventual champion in Melbourne last month, winning just four games in the first two sets before rallying in the third.

Djokovic’s dreams of a stunning comeback – and ambitions to win an 11th title at the tournament – were dashed by the young Italian, who wrapped things up 6-3 in the fourth.

The 36-year-old admitted it was ‘one of the worst Grand Slam matches’ he has ever played, as rumors swirled in the Serbian press of a fever hampering his play.

However, Ivanisevic denied reports that Djokovic was unwell and insisted the world No 1, who has never lost an Australian Open semi-final, must eventually taste defeat.

Goran Ivanisevic has addressed claims that Djokovic was hampered by illness and injury during the Australian Open

Goran Ivanisevic has addressed claims that Djokovic was hampered by illness and injury during the Australian Open

Novak Djokovic described being 'very shocked' by his level against Jannik Sinner last month

Novak Djokovic described being ‘very shocked’ by his level against Jannik Sinner last month

“Sooner or later he had to lose, we were all aware of that.” The former Wimbledon champion tells Sports news. ‘It’s just unfortunate that it happened this way, but against Sondaar if you’re not 100 per cent, you have nothing to ask for.

‘And even when you’re at 100%, you can still lose. However, the whole Australian Open was somehow not right for Novak, right from the first round. Well, let’s move on, it’s nothing so tragic.

Djokovic had earlier suffered a wrist injury during the United Cup in Perth, where he lost to Alex de Minaur, although he claimed it was fully healed by the start of the Open.

The Serbian lost to eventual champion Jannik Sinner (left) in the semi-final in Melbourne

The Serbian lost to eventual champion Jannik Sinner (left) in the semi-final in Melbourne

“No, nothing bothered him, Nole was healthy.” Ivanisevic added. ‘It just didn’t work out… It could happen to him too, he’s flesh and blood too. On the other hand, if he’s going to lose to someone, I’m glad it was Sinner.’

Djokovic saw his 33-match, six-year unbeaten run Down Under come to a stuttering halt as the 22-year-old Sinner went on to win his first major title after a dramatic victory against Daniil Medvedev in the final.