Australian Open

Djokovic harbours no regret

2014-01-21 18:22
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Melbourne - A magnanimous Novak Djokovic said he lost to the better player as his 25-match win streak at the Australian Open was ended by Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The Serb led by a break of serve in the final set at 2-1 but Wawrinka hit back to win 2-6 6-4 6-2 3-6 9-7, revenge for his defeat by Djokovic in another epic battle at the same stage last year.

The four-time champion, and winner in each of the past three years, missed a simple volley on match point to hand Wawrinka his semi-final spot and had no complaints about the result.

"Obviously I'm disappointed but tomorrow is a new day," Djokovic told reporters.

"I have to accept the fact that you can't win all the matches that you play.

"One thing I can be proud of is that I gave my best (but) it wasn't enough. I know that I fought all the way through and laid my heart out there. It's a battle. One of us has to lose. He was a better player. He stepped in and he won the match."

Djokovic was bidding to become the first man in the open era to win the title four times in a row.

Having won the first set, Djokovic was out-hit by eighth seed Wawrinka, who fired a string of brilliant backhands for winners.

The Swiss levelled the match and then rode his momentum to go ahead only for Djokovic to hit back and force a decider.

When he broke for 2-1 in the final set, it looked as if he would pull off another dramatic escape but a loose game put things back on serve and then at 8-7, two errors from the Serb gave Wawrinka arguably the biggest win of his career.

"He served extremely well from the beginning to the end," Djokovic said.

"Every time he was in trouble, he was coming up with big serves.

"He took his opportunities. He deserved this win today. I congratulate him absolutely. There is nothing I can say."

Serving at 30-30 in what was the last game of the match, Djokovic put a forehand wide off a mis-hit Wawrinka return and then sent an easy volley long to see his winning streak come to an end.

"He had been chipping the return for the whole match, basically," Djokovic said of his choice to serve and volley on match point. "And it was actually a good decision. I had a good serve and volley and good volley, but didn't put it away."

Djokovic would not be drawn on whether Wawrinka, who plays Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals, could go on to win the title but said his form was no surprise.

"He's already feeling much more confident in the last year, year and a half," he said. "With his performances on the big tournaments, you can say that he deserves to be where he is.

"He deserves to win this match tonight because he's a great player and he's mentally matured and that's it."


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.