Djokovic v Prizmic, Seidel v Sabalenka and more: Australian Open 2024 day one – live | Australian Open 2024

Key events

Djokovic* 6-2, 6-7 (5), 5-3 Prizmic (*indicates next server) At 30-0 up, Prizmic floats his forehand into the net, then misses his first serve. He is, incidentally, wearing a 21st century version of Dunlop green flash. Suddenly Djokovic is 40-30 up and has a break point. After a high-class rally, he wins it after Prizmic hits the net.

Hello David Hardisty! “This just shows how amazing winning 24 Grand Slams is because that is turning up rain or shine, in better or worse physical shape, 24 x 7 = 168 times and beating the person on the other side of the net.” So true!

Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (5), 4-3 Prizmic* (*indicates next server) Djokovic is complaining about the change in the rules at the Australian Open which lets spectators move around after each game. He immediately goes 30-0 down on his serve, Ivanisevic chews his nails and Marco Panichi, Djokovic’s fitness trainer, releases a European shrug. Two more break points for Prizmic, who tucks his chain in his t-shirt and quietly exhorts himself. Djokovic pulls back with a overhead smash, then an ace. Holds the set, but tough work.

Djokovic* 6-2, 6-7 (5), 3-3 Prizmic (*indicates next server) At the start of this game, 36 unforced errors for a rattled Djokovic, 14 already in this set. Prizmic goes 40-15 down on his serve but saves one break point with an unbelievable down the line shot. And a sensational whippy forehand to bring up deuce. Djokovic isn’t letting this go though and Prizmic hits wide and that’s the break for Djokovic.

Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (5), 2-3 Prizmic* (*indicates next server) Come on! Djokovic huffing and puffing. I’m sure this is irrelevant, it must be irrelevant, but the last time he lost in the first round of a major was 2006. Three deuces on the Djokovic serve… then a fourth after Djokovic hits just wide. A fifth with a Prizmic laser forehand. A sixth after Djokovic can’t follow up an ace and hits long. Then Djokovic can’t deal with a pin-point Prizmic return who has a second break point… but he misses and we return for a seventh deuce. Djokovic hits long and then nets! Prizmic has the break! He conducts the delighted crowd as a furious Djokovic sits down and throws his towel on the floor.

Back to the Rod Laver arena…. where I just hear the commentator say that Prizmic has won 21 of the 33 rallies over nine. We’re in the third set, where it is one break each, Prizmic levelling after going 2-0 down.

A quick round-up from elsewhere:

Eighth seed Maria Sakkari, who lost in the first round of the last three grand slams, beat Japan’s Nao Hibino in just over an hour, 6-4, 6-1.

Fourth seed Jannick Sinner, one of the chasing pack, beat Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets 6-4 7-5 6-3.

Matteo Berrettini’s tournament is over already, having to withdraw from his first-round match because of a foot injury. Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will instead play Belgian Zizou Bergs.

And smiling fifth seed Andrey Rublev survived both a barracking crowd and a rousing comeback from Thiago Seyboth Wild to clinch a fifth set tie-break and the match: 7-5 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-6 (10-6).

Maria Sakkari advances to the second round of the Australian Open. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

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Tumaini Carayol

Tumaini Carayol

Former teenage prodigy Amanda Anisimova, who reached the semi-finals of the 2019 French Open aged 17, took a break from tennis in April last year in order to address her ailing mental health. Nine months later, Anisimova returned to grand slam competition with a win, defeating 13th seed Liudmila Samsonova 6-3 6-4. Here she is after her big win:

Q. Do you have a new outlook on your tennis after having a break last year?

AMANDA ANISIMOVA: “In some ways I do. But the most important thing is that I feel a lot more refreshed. I’m enjoying practicing. I’m enjoying every second that I’m out there. Even when I was down today, I was still just enjoying the challenge. Yeah, I’m just happy with how I feel coming back. I feel like I was very burned out while I was playing, and that really wasn’t a nice feeling. Being able to just reset is really nice.”

Briefly leaving this game, with Djokovic 40- 30 up on serve in the first game of the third set.

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Djokovic 6-2, 6-7 (5) Prizmic – 18-year-old wins the second set

WOW! Prizmic nets the first serve of his final set point but makes the second and, after an epic, tension-building, rally Djokovic misses! And an 18 year old draws level with the world No. 1!

Djokovic has won his last 16 first-round matches at Australian Open and dropped only one set in the process (v Jan Lennard Struff, 2020). He has just dropped his second.

Dino Prizmic reacts against Novak Djokovic during their men's singles match on day one of the Australian Open in Melbourne
Dino Prizmic celebrates drawing level with Novak Djokovic. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images

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Djokovic 6-2, 6-6 Prizmic

Prizmic takes the first point but can’t do anything with Djokovic’s big second serve. Prizmi goes two-one up winning a fizzing rally, Djokovic draws level. Prizmic goes 3-2 up but then 4-2 after a lucky net cord, and 5-2 after Djokovic nets his backhand. 6-2 as Djokovic goes long…. Djokovic saves the first of four set points, and a second…and a third….

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Djokovic 6-2, 6-6 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Ace, a love hold, and we have a tie-break!

Djokovic 6-2, 5-6 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

The second set will go to at least a tie-break as Prizmic holds to love!

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Djokovic 6-2, 5-5 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

“Prizmic is going for the lines, playing carefree tennis” says Pat Cash. Carefree is the word. Carefree cock of the walk, 18-year old exuberance. But he can’t take the set. Djokovic wants this game, and though he hits long at the end of a long rally at 40-15, Prizmic then nets.

Djokovic 6-2, 4-5 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Night falling in Melbourne as Djokovic hits wide on the backhand. Then an ace takes Prizmic to 40-0, before he makes and error and hits long. But Djokovic returns long and that’s the game, if he can just break Djokovic in the next, Prizmic has taken a set off the World Number one.

A general view during the first round match of the Australian Open between Novak Djokovic and Dino Prizmic as the Melbourne skyline is seen in the background
The sun setting on day one of the Australian Open. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

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Djokovic* 6-2, 4-4 Prizmic (* denotes server)

The Djokovic machine holds to love to suitably dampen expectation.

Djokovic 6-2, 3-4 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Tenacious, free, frisky, tennis from Prizmic who seems to have endless bounce in his trainers. Wins a long cross court rally as Djokovic hits long, showing signs of irritation. Snatches things with an ace. Fabulous hold.

Djokovic* 6-2, 3-3 Prizmic (* denotes server)

Djokovic hits the net with his forehand, but Prizmic does the same with his double-handed backhand. Prizmic is sweaty, Djokovic box fresh. The balls are settling into sogginess again, new ones due in three games time. Djokovic misses a forehand on game point, looks irritated, but takes the game.

Djokovic 6-2, 2-3 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

A stern, elegant looking member of Djokovic’s entourage, conveys a message. Whatever it was, it works, Djokovic breaks back immediately, helped by a couple of unforced errors. Djokovic blows his nose.

Djokovic* 6-2, 1-3 Prizmic (* denotes server)

Prizmic suddenly alight! A leaping overhead smash into the corner to go 15-0 up on the Djokovic serve, finished by a cross court scorcher to take the game. Wow! He raises his finger to acknowledge the crowd and clenches his fist in youthful headiness.

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Djokovic 6-2, 1-2 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Prizmic starts by getting the better of a long rally after a wild forehand from Djokovic. Storms the game with some powerful whipping shots, holding to love. This boy can play.

Djokovic* 6-2, 1-1 Prizmic (* denotes server)

Djokovic, hewn of granite, holds his serve to 15. Prizmic, with nascent moustache, questions the smiling umpire about something, but all is resolved.

Dino Prizmic remonstrates with the umpire during his first-round match against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open
Dino Prizmic remonstrates with the umpire. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

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Djokovic 6-2, 0-1 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Important hold in the first game of the second set for Prizmic, strapped left thigh matching strapped right wrist. Enthusiastic applause from his team and the crowd as he recovers from a double fault to win with a zipping forehand.

Djokovic* 6-2 Prizmic (* denotes server)

The new ball does its job immediately as Prizmic returns the first serve long. Djokovic has two set points, picks up the first and eats it with an ace. First set done and dusted in less than 45 minutes, not all one way though.

Novak Djokovic against Dino Prizmic during their men's singles match on day one of the Australian Open
Novak Djokovic wraps up the first set. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

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Djokovic 5-2 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Djokovic breaks Prizmic to love, two tight points followed a couple of pressure-honed errors by Prizmic. New balls now, and the talk around the coaches in Melbourne is that this year’s balls get very slow and soggy midway through their life on court (normally nine games, but seven for the first lot because of the warm-up). Then the new ones ping like bullets.

Djokovic* 4-2 Prizmic (* denotes server)

The Djokovic machine cranks up a notch. Service game to love.

Djokovic 3-2 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Not so easy! The crowd buzz as the young pretender leads Djokovic a merry dance through this game, sending him this way and that. Service held, Prizmic calls for the physio, though not for his heavily strapped right wrist. He lies down on a towel to have his upper thighs massaged. Feels slightly intrusive to have overhead cameras watching this massage but maybe that’s just me.

Dino Prizmic receives treatment during his men's singles match against Novak Djokovic on day one of the Australian Open in Melbourne
Dino Prizmic receives treatment during the first set. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images

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Djokovic* 3-1 Prizmic (* denotes server)

Glorious! After a long rally at 15-0, Prizmic kisses a cross-court drop shot to win the point. But Djokovic, whose blue trainers are embroidered with 24 to represent his 24 major titles – 25 would take him past Margaret Court – powers onwards.

Djokovic 2-1 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

Prizmic eats a half-hearted Djokovic smash to go 15-0 up and then hits a super backhand straight down the line to outfox his opponent. A delicate flutter of a drop shop is followed up by a cross-court winning waft. At 40-0 up a double fault gives Djokovic a way back, but Prizmic holds on to take the game . Very nicely done!

Djokovic* 2-0 Prizmic (* denotes server)

Prizmic, dressed very much like a young Ronaldo, shifts from foot to foot waiting to receive the Djokovic serve, but it’s a fairly easy win to fifteen for the defending champion.

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Djokovic 1-0 Prizmic* (* denotes server)

The first match of the first night session of the Australian Open. From the crowd, Djokovic’s coach Ivanisevic watches intently. Djokovic should eat 18-year-old Prizmic alive – famous last words – but Prizmic, I am reliably told, will be a star. He came through the qualifying event dropping just one set. Prizmic loses the first two points, but holds onto two break points before hitting into the net and Djokovic breaks. But it wasn’t a breeze.

Djokovic starts his title defence – against Dino Prizmic

The world’s greatest male tennis player has the ball in his hand as he and Prizmic warm up on the Rod Laver arena. Djokovic is in all royal blue, Prizmic in short shorts, white T-shirt and backwards baseball cap.

Jodie Burrage loses in the first round

A bad day for the British number two Jodie Burrage, who danced through the first set against Tamara Korpatsch, but then completely lost her mojo, defeated 2-6 6-3 6-0.

“A bit of a tough one today. Still pretty raw, to be honest, so still a lot of emotions there. It was just a tough end to a match really.

“I found it tough to serve in that wind and just my game in general. I tried to adjust as much as possible, but yeah, when you hit a bigger ball I guess and don’t grind it out, when it gets windy, it’s not as easy to play, but that’s just what I need to learn to do. I need to learn to have a bit of a plan B because there was no plan B there today.”

Andrey Rubelev scrapes through in a five-setter

In the last ten minutes, Number five seed Andrey Rubelev has just thrown himself on the ground and roared in triumph, shaking his mane of red hair, after struggling through a five-set thriller against Thiago Seyboth Wild: 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(6) .

The first ever Sunday start of a 15-day tournament has worked like a dream for the organisers of the Australian Open:

The Sunday start has been a success for the #AusOpen, with an announced Day 1 day session attendance of 58,623, eclipsing last year’s Day 1 day session crowd figure of 49,274.

— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshMedia) January 14, 2024

and on the courts, we have already had drama…


Good morning! It’s may be black outside here in the UK but across the oceans, summer is beaming. The first day of the first Grand Slam of the year is underway in Melbourne, all squeaky trainers, blue courts and Novak Djokovic hungrily licking his lips for his eleventh Australian Open title.

His old foe Rafa Nadal isn’t here, withdrawing with a muscle tear in his hip, but Carlos Alcaraz, Danniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner prowl, desperately-looking for signs of ageing in the ageless one. In the women’s draw, Aryna Sabalenka defends her title after winning her first career major here last year. No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek is the favourite for the crown while there is lots of interest in comeback queens Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Britain’s own Emma Raducanu.

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