Australian Open: Novak Djokovic 'under the weather' against 'amazing' Dimo Prizmic' as he wins in four sets

Novak Djokovic impressed by Dino Prizmic as he is pushed to longest first-round match of Grand Slam career, world No 1 wins in four hours and one minute, "He came out there not with a desire to play a nice set but to win. It felt at some point I was playing myself in a mirror"

Image: Novak Djokovic (right) says playing Dino Prizmic (left) was like taking on himself in the mirror

Novak Djokovic said he felt "under the weather" as he staved off a stern challenge from "amazing" teenager Dino Prizmic in the first round at the Australian Open.

World No 1 Djokovic, chasing a 25th Grand Slam title and 11th in Melbourne, finally beat Croatian 18-year-old Prizmic 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-4 in four hours and one minute.

The match was Djokovic's longest in the first round of a Slam and while he revealed he was not at 100 per cent, he took nothing away from his opponent, saying it was like "playing myself in a mirror" as he hailed debutant Prizmic's mentality and maturity.

Image: Djokovic is targeting a 25th Grand Slam title and 11th at the Australian Open

The Serb, who has now won 29 consecutive matches at the Australian Open, said: "I am a bit under the weather, [I have been for the last] four or five days. You can probably judge by my voice.

"It is what it is. You just have to try and deal with it, get over it, accept the circumstances and try to make the most of it.


"I had an amazing opponent. For an 18-year-old, he played so maturely and confidently on the court, fighting through, not giving up even when he was four [love] down in the fourth set.

Image: Prizmic took world No 1 Djokovic to four sets on his Grand Slam debut

Djokovic: Prizmic has a very bright career ahead of him

"[I was] impressed with his mentality, with his approach, with his game. He came out there not with a desire to just play a nice set or enjoy the experience but rather to win.

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"I hear a lot of positive stories about his discipline, his dedication to everyday routines that are making him so physically strong already at 18 and successful.

"If he continues this way, he's going to have a very bright career ahead of him."

"There were some gruelling rallies, it was a very physical game. It felt at some point I was playing myself in a mirror already.

"I hear that he liked to watch me when he was growing up [and] he's got an incredible defence, especially from the backhand side, and an all-round game."

Djokovic vs Prizmic: Tale of the Tape

Djokovic Match Stats Prizmic
11 Aces 7
1 Double Faults 7
66% 1st serve win percentage 65%
62% 2nd serve win percentage 31%
20/30 Netpoints won 8/18
8/17 Break points won 4/9
40 Total winners 31
49 Unforced errors 42
139 Total points won 113

Djokovic will face an Australian in the second round on Wednesday, either Alexei Popyrin or Marc Polmans.

Asked how he will prepare between now and then, Djokovic said: "I will discuss with my team, see if I maybe skip practice [on Monday].

"Maybe do some light work, gym, jog, some specific exercises just to keep my body in shape.

"I think now with two days, it's quite useful after playing a four-hour opening round. Let's see how I wake up tomorrow and then we'll play it by ear."

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