Australian Open 2024: Novak Djokovic’s classy reaction, praise for 18-year-old Dino Prizmic after epic four-hour first-round match, tennis news

Novak Djokovic has been there more often than anyone – winning on Rod Laver Arena – so he knew exactly what this meant.

And after his four-hour first-round victory over Croatian qualifier Dino Prizmic, the 10-time Australian Open champion, knew it wasn’t about the winner. It was about the loser… though we hesitate to call him that.

Watch Australia v West Indies on Kayo Sports. Every Test, ODI and T20I Live with no ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Start Your Free Trial Today >

Prizmic was given a standing ovation by the capacity crowd as he walked into the locker room after taking Djokovic to the limit, in the Serb’s longest-ever first-round match.

Djokovic was also praised for an act of pure class as he applauded Prizmic after the match, and then pointed at the 18-year-old to direct the praise of the crowd towards him.

“I mean, he deserved every applause, every credit that he got tonight. He’s amazing player, I must say, so mature for his age,” Djokovic raved post-match.

“He handled himself on the court incredibly well. This is his moment, honestly. He could have easily been his match as well. He was a break up in the third. He fought even though he was 4-0 down and a break point down from 5-0, he fought, he showed great mentality, resilience.

“He made me really run for my money for sure, tonight. That’s for sure. And honestly I have many, many praises for him. Many compliments, I will be talking about it later in the press conference probably, to deconstruct his game.

“I love the way he, you know, just – he’s using every inch of the court, you know. He’s comfortable to come in, he’s defending incredibly well. Just amazing performance for someone that is 18 years old, had never had an experience of playing on a big stage. Big kudos to him and his team, to his family.

“And… I certainly want to be in his corner, so hopefully he will invite me because he is going to make some big things in his career. That’s for sure. We are going to see a lot of him – a lot of him in the future.”

Prizmic was not even born when Djokovic played the previous longest first-round match of his career at the 2005 US Open.

“I started off very well for a 36-year-old guy! But, geez, when you think about it, I’m double his age! The reality hits hard tonight,” Djokovic quipped.

“No, look, I’m really trying to enjoy every moment on the court. Obviously I struggled in many, many different moments tonight. But, you know, it was credit to him due to his incredible game plan. You know, he just had an answer for everything. He was very physical, particularly from this end, you know you have a slight breeze in your back so it’s a bit easier to serve and most of the breaks came from this side.

“But, you know, yeah, just – I had good moments. Some moments I wish I could have played better. They made me more aggressive but I haven’t played here in a year. It’s been a very short off-season.

“So physically I’m still finding myself out there on the court but now I have a couple of days to my next match so hopefully I will be at my best for the next.”

Originally published as ‘This is his moment’: Djoker all class in perfect reaction as Aus Open staggered by 18yo’s feat

Leave a Comment