Novak Djokovic congratulates Aryna Sabalenka, has encouraging words for Zheng Qinwen

© Getty Images Sport – Sarah Reed

Novak Djokovic issued a congratulatory message to Aryna Sabalenka following the Belarusian’s Australian Open victory and also took a moment to acknowledge Zheng Qinwen’s career-best Grand Slam run. 

Sabalenka, 25, successfully defended her Australian Open title after dismantling Zheng 6-3 6-2 in the final. On her way to winning her second Grand Slam title in 12 months, Sabalenka didn’t lose a single set at Melbourne Park this year. 

Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney


On his Instagram Story, Djokovic shared the Australian Open’s post about Aryna Sabalenka’s triumph and wrote: “Congratulations.” Also, Djokovic added tiger and trophy emojis – for context, Sabalenka has a tattoo of a tiger on her left forearm. 

On the other side, 21-year-old Zheng enjoyed a breakthrough Grand Slam tournament at Melbourne Park. At this year’s Australian Open, Zheng first made her first Grand Slam semifinal before also going a step further and making her maiden Major final. 

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen© Getty Images Sport – Cameron Spencer


Djokovic also had a message for Zheng, offering words of encouragement to the 21-year-old Chinese. “Amazing tournament (applause emoji). More to come.”

Djokovic congratulated Sabalenka, Zheng after his Australian Open exit

Djokovic, who was considered the No. 1 favorite for this year’s Australian Open title in the men’s event, saw his campaign at Melbourne Park end on Friday following a pretty disappointing performance and defeat to Jannik Sinner. 

By picking up a 6-1 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-3 defeat to Sinner, Djokovic suffered his first Australian Open loss since 2018. Also, it was the first loss in the Australian Open semifinal stage for record 10-time champion Djokovic.

After losing to Sinner in four sets and not creating a single break point in a whole Grand Slam match for the first time in his career, Djokovic described it as “one of the worst” Slam performances he has had. 

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic© Getty Images Sport – Julian Finney


But failing to win the Australian Open didn’t stop Djokovic from showing class in the next two days. After issuing messages to Sabalenka and Zheng, Djokovic also congratulated Sinner on winning the men’s event and also applauded Daniil Medvedev for the performance he delivered in a five-set loss to the Italian.

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