Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic embarrassed by Shane Warne's son as world No 1 fails miserably at cricket during charity event in Melbourne

  • 6 months ago
It's a good thing Novak Djokovic is good with a tennis racquet, with the world No. 1 not so capable with a cricket bat in hand if his performance during a charity event is anything to go by.

Djokovic, 36, was in a jovial mood on the eve of the Australian Open on Thursday, playing a friendly match against Stefanos Tsitsipas before welcoming several of Australia's top athletes onto the court.

Superstar cricketer Steve Smith was in attendance, they ruthlessly sent a Djokovic delivery into the stands during a light-hearted game of cricket after stunning the Serb by returning one of his rapid serves.

Then up stepped Shane Warne's son, Jackson, to have a bowl at the reigning men's champion.

A short run-up was followed by a fairly tame delivery slightly wide of the off stump, but Djokovic read the ball all wrong and missed it completely.

To save his embarrassment, he swapped the bat for a racquet and sent the next ball into the crowd.

Djokovic was later interviewed on court by Nick Kyrgios, who will not be competing at the tournament due to ongoing injuries.

Instead, Kyrgios will pick up the microphone and provide his insight and analysis for Eurosport alongside Boris Becker and John McEnroe.

Elsewhere, Djokovic learned on Thursday that he could be required to see off old foes to win a record-extending 11th Australian Open title in Melbourne.

He could play a third-round match against Andy Murray and a quarter-final against last year's runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas to make it to the final again.

Top-ranked Australian Alex de Minaur will need to make the semi-finals to have any hope of stopping Djokovic from becoming the most prolific grand slam singles winner in tennis after landing on the opposite side of the draw.

Djokovic lost his first singles match in Australia since 2018 when he succumbed to a wrist injury and an inspired de Minaur at last week's United Cup.

The 36-year-old has since looked strong and uninhibited in several practice sessions at Rod Laver Arena.

But the top seed will still likely need to rise to several challenges if he's to eclipse Margaret Court's record of 24 singles majors.

Five-time Open runner-up Murray could be a hurdle in the last 32, while fellow veteran and triple grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka - who has conquered Djokovic in French and US Open finals - is a potential fourth-round roadblock.

On rankings, Djokovic's quarter-final opponent is seventh-seeded Tsitsipas, who enters the $86.5 million tournament under somewhat of a fitness cloud after a back injury hampered his United Cup campaign.

Compounding the Greek ace's troubles is a first-round shootout with former Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini, with the unseeded Italian on the comeback from a serious ankle injury.

Djokovic could strike dangerous Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner, who toppled the Serb twice in the space of a fortnight in November, in the semis.

But if the tournament's top two seeds live up to their billing, Djokovic will rene