I have been defeated in three consecutive games.

Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 tennis player, began his 2024 Australian Open campaign with a hard-fought victory over qualifier Dino Prizmic on Sunday. The Serb, who was being watched by his former coach and eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi, battled in front of a vocal Melbourne crowd on Rod Laver Arena for nearly four hours, eventually winning 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

During an on-court interview after the match, Djokovic acknowledged Agassi’s presence in the stands and thanked him for gracing the match and the Australian Open with his presence. He even joked about how one of his shots in the fourth set reminded him of Agassi, only for him to lose three straight games after that moment. Agassi, along with the crowd, laughed at the comment, with Djokovic smilingly adding that it was not Agassi’s fault, but rather his own focus that wavered due to Agassi’s presence.

The 24-time Grand Slam champion expressed his respect for Agassi in a recent interview, acknowledging that Djokovic will remain the man to beat for a few more years at least, joking that the only opponent the Serb cannot beat is Father Time. Agassi highlighted the inevitability of aging and the uncertain elements of health that could impact Djokovic’s performance in the future.

Looking ahead, Djokovic is set to face either Marc Polmans or Alexei Popyrin in the second round of the 2024 Australian Open.

Djokovic’s performance and victory at the Australian Open also sparked discussions about his enduring dominance in the sport despite his age and the emerging younger talent. As one of the most successful tennis players in history, Djokovic has continued to maintain his form and ranking as the world No. 1 despite the challenges posed by the next generation of players.

During his match with Prizmic, Djokovic displayed his trademark resilience, determination, and strategic prowess, captivating the audience and showcasing his ability to overcome tough opponents. His performance was a testament to his sustained focus and unwavering commitment to excellence on the tennis court.

In a previous interview, Agassi had spoken about Djokovic’s potential to continue his reign as the dominant force in tennis, emphasizing the importance of health and fitness in prolonging his career. Agassi’s presence at the Australian Open and his supportive comments highlighted the enduring impact of their coaching partnership and Djokovic’s influential role in inspiring future generations of tennis players.

As the 2024 Australian Open unfolds, Djokovic’s performance and potential matchups in the tournament are expected to generate significant interest and anticipation among tennis enthusiasts and fans worldwide. His quest to add to his exceptional record of Grand Slam titles and maintain his position at the top of the tennis rankings will be closely followed and analyzed by the global tennis community.

In conclusion, Djokovic’s hard-fought victory in the opening round of the 2024 Australian Open, his interactions with his former coach Agassi, and the anticipation surrounding his future matches reflect the enduring appeal and excitement of professional tennis. As one of the all-time greats of the sport, Djokovic continues to inspire and captivate audiences with his remarkable skill, determination, and enduring legacy in the world of tennis.