Novak Djokovic makes claim about three rivals after Jannik Sinner ends streak | Tennis | Sport

Novak Djokovic claimed his rivals put a target on his back when his 19-match winning streak ended – but he wouldn’t have it any other way. The Serbian superstar was beaten for the first time in four months when he lost to Jannick Sinner in the ATP Finals.

The home favorite won 7-5 6-7(5) 7-6(2) in Turin to hand Djokovic his first loss since the Wimbledon final. It was also Djokovic’s first loss in an ATP Finals since 2021.

After the match, Djokovic revealed that players have extra motivation when they call it. And he named Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune as the three who raised their game in particular to cause him problems.

“Holger Rune, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner seem to be extra motivated when they play with you,” Djokovic said. “I think it’s normal, they want to get to where I got.

“This happens everywhere I play. Everyone wants my head. Jannik got it today. But I’m happy with how I fought.”

It seemed that a sinner agreed with Djokovic’s assessment. After the match, he admitted that it was the biggest win of his career so far.

“It’s a great privilege for me to play here in Turin,” he said. “I was expecting a very tough game but with the crowd trying to help me it was easier.

“I tried to put everything in the right direction and when things go like this and an Italian is playing, the atmosphere becomes really great. I am happy to be able to be a part of this.

“Putting all the circumstances together, playing in Turin against the number one who won 24 Slams, we can say that this is the best. Even if I had lost the game it would still be good in my head. For me the goal was to stay close to him and fight.”

For his part, Djokovic admitted that Sinner was a deserved winner. Breaking down the match as a whole, the Serbian said: “The last time we were in the semi-finals at Wimbledon, I won in three sets but it was a hard fight. A few points made the difference.

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“I think he played the way he played today, but this time maybe he served better and was more courageous in the important points. He deserved to win because of the important points I gave him a chance to dominate the points.

“I was in the exchange and I should have put my foot down. I didn’t & he did. He fully deserved to win.

“There are very few opportunities in this type of game. If you don’t take them, someone else will. In certain moments I have to be more decisive. But that’s ok, sometimes you win & sometimes you lose.

“Most of the time I’ve won games like this. I don’t think I did too many things wrong. He was brave when he had to be.”

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