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Djokovic takes first step towards Grand Slam history

Novak Djokovic survived a fierce test against teenager Dino Prizmic at the Australian Open Sunday as he launched his bid for a historic 25th Grand…

Novak Djokovic survived a fierce test against teenager Dino Prizmic at the Australian Open Sunday as he launched his bid for a historic 25th Grand Slam, but defending women’s champion Aryna Sabalenka destroyed her opponent 6-0, 6-1.

World No 1 Djokovic, who is gunning for an 11th Australian Open title to pull clear of Margaret Court on the all-time list of majors, won 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4.

The Serbian, with 24 Slams under his belt, is already the most decorated player in the men’s game – two clear of the injured Rafael Nadal and four ahead of the retired Roger Federer.

The 36-year-old – now boasting a 29-match winning run in Melbourne – was expected to breeze through against Croatia’s Prizmic, who is half his age.

But after coasting to the first set, he was given a searching examination by the youngster, who levelled the match in a tie-break.

The Croatian qualifier threatened to pull away in the third set, but the veteran rallied from 3-2 down, reeling off the next eight games to seize control and he was able to snuff out another late fightback.

“He deserved every applause, every credit that he got tonight,” Djokovic after Prizmic left the court to a standing ovation from the Melbourne crowd.

“He’s an amazing player, so mature for his age and he handled himself on the court incredibly well. This is his moment, honestly. It could easily have been his match as well.”

 

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