Despite Alleged Bias For Novak Djokovic, Local ATP Star Dishes Out Confident Message Ahead Of Crucial Australian Open Contest

Published 01/15/2024, 8:57 AM EST

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10-time AO champion Novak Djokovic started off his campaign at the first Grand Slam of the season from where he had left last year. He recently secured his place in the second round of the Australian Open after a hard-fought victory against the number 187th in the ATP men’s singles ranking. Now, he’ll face Aussie Alexei Popyrin in front of his home crowd. What is his reaction to facing the world number 1, just after a one-day gap?

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Novak Djokovic defeated Croatia’s Dino Prizmic by a 6-2,6-7(5),6-3,6-4 margin to seal the deal in a thrilling 4-hour and 1-minute encounter. Thankfully, for the Serb, he got the chance to get a 2-day break to take a rest and be ‘at his best’ before Wednesday. How does Popyrin feel about this scheduling?

Alexei Popyrin is just happy to get through in straight sets against his compatriot

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Alexei Popyrin defeated his countryman, Marc Polmans by 6-3,7-6(3),6-2 in a 2 hour 28 minutes encounter in his first match on Monday. After the game, he spoke about his upcoming match against the world number one and also gave his opinion about the scheduling of the games. This year AO had an early start and some players from the top half played their R1 on Sunday while some on Monday.

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Here’s what Popyrin had to say on this, ‘It is what it is. Yeah, I think Sunday starts are, it’s a 50/50 in the locker room for those who like it, for those who don’t. He has an extra day, he requested a Sunday start, I’m sure, and then that’s why he’s playing on Sunday. It is what it is. But, you know, I was happy I managed to get through in straight sets. I have the most amount of time to recover now and prepare for that match.’

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However, the 24-year-old Australian doesn’t want off-court stuff to hamper his on-court performances. He’s claiming to be more than ready to face the Serbinator.

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Popyrin believes he could win against Novak Djokovic

Although the Australian is a big admirer of what Novak Djokovic has achieved in the sport over the last two decades, he also thinks that there is no point in going to the court if he doesn’t believe he can win. Popyrin has affirmed that he will be studying Djokovic ahead of their clash and he believes the Serb is no different than any other opponent he has faced so far on the tour.

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Popyrin couldn’t take part in last week’s Adelaide International after complaining of a back issue. But his recent performance against his compatriot proves he’s fit enough to take on the best in the world. Do you think he can give Novak Djokovic a tough challenge on Wednesday?

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Written by:

Sayantan Roy

478Articles

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Tennis has been my passion since my childhood. My sheer love and enthusiasm for the racket sport has been a major influence in me wanting to build a career in sports journalism. Additionally, being a die-hard Real Madrid fan makes me more connected to my tennis idol-Rafael Nadal, who himself is a huge Los Blancos fan and a contender to become its next President.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot

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