Tsitsipas’ perfect response to Djokovic snub ahead of Aus Open final

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Stefanos Tsitsipas had the perfect response after Novak Djokovic forgot that the 24-year-old had already played him in a Grand Slam final. The pair will do battle for the Australian Open title and the world No 1 ranking in Sunday’s championship match in what will be their second meeting in a Major final, but it seems neither man can recall the previous clash at the 2021 French Open.

Tsitsipas will attempt to win his first Grand Slam title on Sunday when he contests his second final against a man who already has 21 Major titles to his name and nine in Melbourne. The world No 4’s first championship match was a tough loss to take as he led Djokovic by two sets before falling in five, and he has not had a chance for redemption since.

While it has been no secret that the 24-year-old struggled to digest the match for weeks afterwards, it appears that it was just another Sunday winning a title for the 35-year-old who forgot that Tsitsipas had played a Major final in the past – let alone against himself. And the Greek star has now shared his hilarious response to Djokovic’s blunder as he pretended he also couldn’t remember the match.

After advancing to the final with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 victory over Karen Khacnanov, Tsitsipas was quizzed over Djokovic’s lapse in memory. “Novak the other day didn’t remember about the final you play in Roland Garros. Do you see that as a genuine lapse, or maybe he’s trying to get into your mind?” he was asked.

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But he simply responded: “I don’t remember either.” When the reporter tried to jog his memory by saying it was the “finals”, Tsitsipas doubled down. “No, don’t remember,” he said, dead-pan.

It comes after Djokovic said: “I know Tsitsipas, for example, probably the most experienced guy out all of them, all the quarter-finalists. He has played already the final stages of a Grand Slam quite a few times. I think he has never played a finals, am I wrong?”

The nine-time title winner will likely want to forget that match anyway after taking a 7-6(6) 6-2 lead before winning just nine more games as Djokovic cruised to his second French Open title. “I don’t think I have regrets. Could have easily cried, but I see no reason for me crying because I tried everything. I couldn’t come up with anything better,” a then 22-year-old Tsitsipas said after the match at the time.

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And it appears he may well be telling the truth about forgetting the heartbreaking final, as he revealed the defeat was finally out of his mind 11 months ago. “I completely forgot about my Roland Garros final. It’s a good achievement but I don’t want to be the guy that holds a runner-up trophy. I wanna be more than that,” he told reporters at last year’s ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.

He will be hoping to get his wish and lift a proper Grand Slam trophy on Sunday when he faces Djokovic for the 13th time. Tsitsipas won two of their first three meetings but has since lost every match, trailing their head-to-head by 10 losses to two wins. Meanwhile, the Serb has never lost an Australian Open, winning all nine he has played.

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