Novak Djokovic’s reaction was special because he won the first round but it was never easy. Knowing that a freshman 18 years younger than him would succeed, Novak Djokovic politely induced Preezmich to cheer for the crowd. Djokovic gave Preezmich a round of applause even in the middle of the first set, and immediately after the game ended with a 3-1 set score, he sincerely encouraged Preezmich. This is how special Preezmich’s first Grand Slam challenge was.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the world’s most powerful male professional tennis player, beat 18-year-old freshman Dino Frizmich of Croatia 3-1 (6-2, 6-7 tb5-7, 6-3, 6-4) in four hours and one minute in the first round of men’s singles at the 2024 Australian Open held at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia at 5:16 p.m. on the 14th.
Second set tie break, Freemich’s incredible tenacity
As Novak Djokovic, who is aiming for his 25th career Grand Slam title, is facing his first round opponent (18 years old), who is just half the age gap, he thought it would end in less than three hours. However, those expectations were not met with satisfactory expectations.
Although Preezmich was a junior record, he was a prospect who won the 2023 Roland Garros (French Open). Novak Djokovic took the first set 6-2, but Preezmich’s forehand cross-angle shot in the third game was simply outstanding. Shortly after the ball left, Djokovic clapped his racket at Preezmich and acknowledged his endless growth potential.
Freshman Preezmich, who gained confidence throughout the game, showed more remarkable growth potential in the second set. Preezmich, who won the first game of the second set with a bold forehand down the line, led 3-1 with his fourth game break point. It was the moment when the power of the forehand cross stretching along the left flank line stood out.
In particular, from the second set, the two players’ serve match started in earnest. Djokovic ended the sixth game with a 183km/h serve ace, and Preezmich ended the next game with a 199km/h serve ace. Eventually, the second set was followed by a tie-break with a game score of 6-6, where the sweaty rally in everyone’s hands continued for quite a long time, and cheers poured down to Preezmich each time.마카오토토
Djokovic’s forehand cross fell outside the left side row at the 12th point, which was followed by 21 rallies. With a tie-break score of 7-5, Preezmich won a set at a major tournament for the first time in his life. It is all the more surprising that the opponent is a living legend, Novak Djokovic.
In the third set, the persistent operation of the two players winning each other’s serve games was impressive, but the owner was Novak Djokovic with a score of 6-3. Djokovic’s eyes showed the alertness that he could not be dragged into the newbie Preezmich’s momentum.
Djokovic’s heightened concentration from then on helped his team advance to the fourth set, driving the team to a 4-0 run. However, Preezmich never gave up and caught up. Preezmich, who also had the luck of getting hit by the top of the net in the sixth game, secured another break point and kept his serve until the next game to catch up with 3-4.
And in the 10th game, which became the last game, Novak Djokovic, who had three match point opportunities with a seasoned play in front of the net, eventually ended up with a stunning backhand cross-angle shot near the net. Djokovic’s hand gesture, which humbly handed over the cheers of the crowd to Djokovic, who took a breather on the court, to Preezmich, remained another touching moment.
Now, Novak Djokovic will meet the winner of Alexei Popyrin (43rd, Australia) and Mark Polmans (156th, Australia) in the second round.