Jannik Sinner scored one of the most memorable wins of his career by defeating Novak Djokovic in the group stage of the 2023 ATP Finals. He bested the defending champion 7-5, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2) to notch up his first win over the Serb, and his second over a current No. 1.
Sinner also extended his unbeaten run to eight matches with his latest victory, which started with his title-winning run in Vienna. While he did compete in the Paris Masters as well, he withdrew prior to his third round contest, which doesn't count as an official loss.
Sinner is also 15-1 since the conclusion of the US Open. He's in the midst of a purple patch at the moment, so it's not surprising to see him outplay Djokovic. As such, his win over the 24-time Major champion is noteworthy in many ways.
So here are three notable records that Sinner created following his win over Djokovic:
#1 - Jannik Sinner is among the last 3 players to defeat Novak Djokovic
Prior to his match against Jannik Sinner, Novak Djokovic's record for the season stood at an impressive 52-5. He was on a 19-match winning streak, which began at the Cincinnati Masters back in August. He had also dropped just seven sets during this period.
But Sinner has been one of the most in-form players on the tour as well, especially over the last couple of months. So when the two clashed at the ATP Finals on Tuesday, it was a battle of equals. The duo traded blows until the very end, but it was the Italian who eventually came out on top.
Sinner's now among the last three players to defeat Djokovic. The Serb's other two losses came against Carlos Alcaraz in the Wimbledon final and against Holger Rune in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.
Additonally, Sinner became just the second player to defeat Djokovic on hardcourts this year. Daniil Medvedev's the only other player to have scored a win over the Serb on the surface, which was in February at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
#2 - Jannik Sinner's one of only 8 players to win a 3rd set tie-break against Novak Djokovic
It's not easy to one-up Djokovic, as many players would attest to. He has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat time and time again. The Serb has a way of raising his level even when the pressure is high. A tie-break to decide the match is often nerve-racking, but not for the 36-year old given his record in them.
So when a third set tie-break came into the picture during their match, it was quite surprising to see Jannik Sinner outplay the World No. 1. The 22-year old held his nerve and thus became one of just eight players to win a third set tie-break against the Serb.
The other players to do so are Carlos Alcaraz, Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, John Isner, Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny and Radek Stepanek. These eight players have managed to outdo Djokovic in a third set tie-break on a combined 10 occasions, with Nadal and Thiem doing so twice.
#3 - Jannik Sinner is among the only 3 players to win a 3rd set tie-break against Novak Djokovic in the last 10 years
Djokovic's composure in high-stake situations is the stuff of legends. He has remained unfazed even when he's down match points. His triumph over Roger Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final after saving a couple of championship points is one such example. He also saved match points against the Swiss at the US Open in 2010 and 2011.
Even earlier this year, Djokovic fended off a championship point in the final against Carlos Alcaraz to win the Cincinnati Masters. As stated above, Jannik Sinner became one of the few players to edge the Serb in a third set tie-break.
While the feat has been achieved by a handful of players, only three of them have done so in the past decade. Prior to Sinner, Alcaraz pipped Djokovic in a deciding set tie-break en route to winning the 2022 Madrid Open.
Dominic Thiem was able to do it twice, that too in consecutive editions of the ATP Finals in 2019 and 2020. The Austrian first did it in the round-robin stage and repeated the feat the following year in the semifinals.