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De Minaur defeats Djokovic

by Jonas Eriksson

The tennis season has just started and we already have a pretty major upset when Alex De Minaur defeats Djokovic at the United Cup, 6-4 6-4.

You should never take anything away from a player winning a match, but Djokovic’s wrist injury surely worked against him. It was pretty obvious in the way he moved and fought in the match.

“I knew that probably, [I am] not going to be at 100 per cent physically, emotionally, mentally game-wise in the opening week of a season. Neither did I expect that,” Djokovic said in his post-match press conference. “I was not on my level, but it was just one of these days where I didn’t feel my best on the court, and [my] opponent played very well. That’s all I can say.

“I think I’ll be okay, to be honest,” Djokovic added when asked about his wrist. “It did have quite an impact, particularly on the forehand and serve. I have plenty of time, I think enough time to get myself in the right shape for the Australian Open.”

Novak Djokovic

De Minaur was brilliant, though. It’s not easy to beat Djokovic, even though he is struggling. You can watch the highlights of the match on the official United Cup website. And if you’re interested in placing a bet, check out our United Cup betting page.

“It’s extra special,” De Minaur said of the win. “Novak is an unbelievable competitor and what he’s done for the sport is pretty special. It feels surreal, amazing, and I’m very happy to do it here in Perth and Australia. 

“When you go up against Novak you have to go out and enjoy it and back yourself and no matter what keep fighting until the end. Today was my day and I’m happy that I was able to get the win.”

Alex De Minaur

What does this mean for the Australian Open?

Nadal won his first match in style against Dominic Thiem, as we wrote in our Nadal vs Thiem prediction. The way he played and won (7-5 6-1) was impressive. If he can keep this up, he is a threat for the Australian Open title.

Before we get into Australian Open predictions (we will look into that in a week), we can say that Djokovic was the heavy favorite until his wrist started acting up. However, he has had injury scares before and during Grand Slam tournaments and still managed to win them. How many times have we not seen Djokovic limp around from time to time and still win?

But, the wrist is a worry for the Djokovic camp. Maybe not a huge one, but it should be taken into consideration.

The other natural favorites were surely a little relieved to see Djokovic lose the first match in his recent 44 matches on Australian soil. The field does feel a little more open with this question mark.

Alcaraz, Sinner, Nadal and Djokovic feel like the strongest candidates. But we can not overlook players like Medvedev, Zverev, Rune, and Tsitsipas either. De Minaur defeats Djokovic, but the Serb remains the strongest favorite ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.

What do you think about Novak’s injury and what will it mean for the Australian Open?

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