Can Jannik Sinner expect a different result against Novak Djokovic? In an eerie rematch of last year’s thrilling Wimbledon quarterfinal, it’s Djokovic vs Sinner. This time, the semifinals await.
Djokovic vs Sinner H2H
Djokovic has only faced Sinner twice, winning both contests. That Wimbledon match in 2022 was remarkable because Sinner won the first two sets. Djokovic then stormed back to win the last three. Two years ago, the 23-time Grand Slam champion beat Sinner on clay in straight sets at Monte Carlo.
The lesson from the Wimbledon match for Sinner: It’s never over with Novak. That comeback win was the 7th time in his storied career that Djokovic has come from behind to win after losing the first two sets.
On a positive note for the Italian: Sinner’s serve has improved from a year ago. In that match, he put only 54% of his first serves in and won 68% of those points. That won’t cut it against GOATs. Djokovic is also a year older, while Sinner remains in his prime.
Despite only the two tour-level matches, Djokovic vs Sinner is a mainstay of the practice courts. The pair was seen sparring on Centre Court prior to Wimbledon, and they often practice together at home in Monte Carlo.
Djokovic vs Sinner: Strategy
A key game-within-the-game will be Sinner’s return strategy against the Djokovic second serve. Jannik can blister returns off both wings. He has uncanny skill for reading pace and spin.
Interestingly, many of the top-ranked ATP players at 2023 Wimbledon have been clocking second serve speeds at or above 100 mph, including Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune. That’s a respectable if not overly aggressive speed for a second serve. For his part, Djokovic is more than capable of that. But he hasn’t been doing it at Wimbledon 2023.
In his quarterfinal win over Rublev, Djokovic averaged a second serve speed of just 91 mph. Against Hubert Hurkacz in the round before, it was 93 mph. Maybe he felt he didn’t need anything more. That might change against Sinner.
As for the front part of the court, Sinner has some matches where he approaches the net a medium amount (around 20 times), and some matches where he barely comes in at all. It will be interesting to see if Sinner feels the need to be more aggressive by coming forward more often.
Whatever the case, this Wimbledon rematch of Djokovic vs Sinner will be a fascinating test of how far the Italian has advanced with his game in a fairly straight apples-to-apples comparison.