Sinner inflicted Djokovic's first defeat at Melbourne Park in 2,195 days. It was also the Serb's first loss in the semifinals of the "Happy Slam," having gone 10-0 before Friday. But the victory was far from straightforward for the 22-year-old Italian.
After cruising in the opening two sets, Sinner spurned a match point in the third set and lost control of his emotions when he was captured on cameras knocking over his water bottles at the changeover. But he managed to regroup in the fourth set, breaking Djokovic midway through to win.
Before the semifinal, it was pointed out that Sinner was on the cup of an extraordinary feat as he stood to join an exclusive club of players to have beaten Djokovic at least once in three different tournament levels. These were the Grand Slams, the ATP Finals, and the Davis Cup.
Only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had accomplished this feat of beating the Serbian star at least once at those three levels. Sinner, who trailed 0-3 against Djokovic in the head-to-head at the start of August 2023, has picked up those three wins.
The Italian scored his first win over the World No. 1 at the season finale in his home country during the round-robin stage at the end of last season. Djokovic avenged that loss by beating Sinner in the championship match in the same tournament.
However, Sinner secured his second win over the Serb at the Davis Cup, where he famously saved three successive match points during the semifinal tie between their respective nations in Malaga.
Sinner has now completed the three-peat by beating Djokovic in a Grand Slam for the first time, narrowing the head-to-head deficit to 3-4. On Sunday, he will contest his first Grand Slam final when he plays Russia's Daniil Medvedev, who battled back from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev.