It was today. That long-awaited day that every true Italian tennis fan has waited a lifetime for and hoped to experience: witnessing the triumph of an Italian tennis player over the world number one, dominated in a Grand Slam match. Protagonist of a great tennis performance, seen worldwide. “I’m happy, it was a very tough game.”

Happened. It’s all true. Jannik Sinner he initially fought for two sets (and it is a diminutive) Novak Djokovic, e The work then ended in the fourth set: 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3 after three hours and twenty-two minutes of play. Number one in the world. The King of Slams. The champion of Australia.

Sinner’s win takes him to the final of the Melbourne Major, and it is a first for an Italian. There were those who thought they could wake up comfortably, drink coffee and enjoy it while watching a tennis marathon. Well, for once, fortunately for Italy, the calculations were wrong: the phenomenon is the color blue, he did the paperwork at ten past eight: breakfast eaten, everyone ready to go to the office.

Two hours of a sensual moment. Only Rafa Nadal, at Roland Garros, he managed to do the same against Djokovic, turning him into a pulp. Now comes the finale, Sunday morning: The work is not yet finished.

This is the story of the game.

The first set was won by Sinner

The lightning start comes from Sinner: He holds the serve, then takes it from Djokovic and goes to the first change of court with 3-0 in his favor. Fifteen minutes of fire. Djokovic’s box is petrified. Sinner’s heavy blows prevent the Serb from realizing his plan. And not only that: Sinner’s trajectories are paradoxically more central than angled, preventing the usual extensions of Djokovic, who has less power on the ball than his opponent. With the score at 1:4, the Serb hopes that the “crazy people” will come around, which means that this start is just an outburst from the boy and that the sluggishness of the game will soon change. But his performance is obvious, sensational: two double faults in two rounds of service, unfounded errors. It’s clear that Number One is trying out different paths and solutions, but he doesn’t know which direction to turn, or rather: how to approach Sinner. The Serb’s points only come from winning shots, there is nothing comparable when dribbling. He also suffers the second break and the first set ends after 35 minutes with the Italian’s overwhelming superiority: 6:1.

Sinner won the second set

All we can expect from the world market leader is a reaction, a jump, a gasp: The Serb now seems more attentive. He seems to be asserting himself better, but Sinner doesn’t seem to give an inch. The geometries that normally work and win for Djokovic do not exist today, there is a wall in front of him: Sinner answers him with balls at the edge of the net or with a jump up. There is no one like the other. There is also the third break in the game: Sinner takes the lead 2-1, and even Rod Laver in the stands watches the Italian admiringly. Objectively speaking, the public is surprised because no one expected such a game development. Djokovic seems to be reduced to a secondary figure, a sparring partner. Ivanisevic (his coach) can’t even encourage him: they all seem helpless. Sinner keeps his serve at zero and leads 3:1. Djokovic grits his teeth and holds his serve. But it is only an episodic flash: returning after the time-out, it is always the Italian who concedes: 5:2 in an hour and six minutes of play. When the Blues serve, the Serb finally breaks through and plays with all his might: he shoots and forces every shot he takes. But it’s not enough. Djokovic manages to cancel a first set point, but has to admit defeat at the second chance. The score? Sinner 6-1, 6-2 after an hour and thirteen minutes. Incredible.

Djokovic won the third set in a tiebreak

And now? In a normal tournament the game would be over. But the Slams are played over five sets. Will Djokovic have the strength to come back? In reality, he managed to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2022: trailing by two sets, he prevailed in the fifth.

The first game Djokovic serves in might be a good indicator: a few very hard, very long rallies, and this time it’s Djokovic catching the dribbles. But Sinner answers without batting an eyelid: his serve is zero.

Djokovic returns to serve. Every now and then he takes a look at his box and looks for advice. Or maybe just for moral support. Normally in the past he would have used tactics to break the rhythm in other difficult moments, but this time the silence is eloquent.

But you have nothing left to lose with this set. Djokovic offers everything he has, drawing on every drop of energy, experience and resilience. There is balance. We can also see Sinner’s first unforced errors. But with Djokovic, we notice attention by avoiding mistakes. The Serb thinks ahead and rejects defeat. Try a reaction. We go to the change of court with 4:3 for number 1: no break points in this set.

An important episode occurs with a 5:5 tie advantage and Djokovic’s serve: a spectator feels unwell and the game is interrupted to provide help. The break minutes help Djokovic reset: an ace and then a loop give him the guarantee of the tiebreak, the last chance to stay in the game, which the Serb takes advantage of and destroys a match point for the Blues. It is the first set that Sinner loses in the tournament.

Fourth set won by Sinner

After Djokovic’s bathroom break, we start again with Sinner’s serve. Then Djokovic saves two break points on his serve at 15-40. But with the score at 2:1 for Sinner, again with the serve, the decisive event happens: Djokovic, 40:0, fails to finish and then offers Sinner the eleventh break point of the semi-final with a double fault, which… The Blues go with a serious one Guaranteed to win with a 3-1 lead. In the next game, however, it will be hard fought: They take the lead, but Sinner holds firm and takes a 4-1 lead. A resounding, eye-catching result, but in reality the advantage is minimal: the South Tyrolean always has to hold his serve, a task that he masters excellently: At 8 a.m. in Italy, after three and a half hours of play, Jannik Sinner is leading by 5 in the fourth set :2 and the impression is that Djokovic cannot reverse the trend. And so it is: Sinner has never had to deal with a breakpoint. Great Italian festival.