•He arrived at Wimbledon, where he had never previously won a match before this year, with little outward expectation, having retired from his fourth-round match at the French Open against Andrey Rublev with a knee injury.
•He then lost his only match at Eastbourne to Tommy Paul.
Sinner has been seen for a while as one of the most talented young players in the men's game, although more recently there has been a greater focus on Carlos Alcaraz, whom he beat in four sets in the last 16 on Sunday.
He arrived at Wimbledon, where he had never previously won a match before this year, with little outward expectation, having retired from his fourth-round match at the French Open against Andrey Rublev with a knee injury.
He then lost his only match at Eastbourne to Tommy Paul.
However, he had knocked out three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka and John Isner before Alcaraz on his way to the last 16, where he faced the ultimate challenge of playing the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Sinner made a nervous start, with seven unforced errors in the first five games before he narrowly avoided falling a double break behind.
When Djokovic's errors handed him the break back, he took that as his cue to go on the offensive, stepping inside the baseline and dictating rallies with flat groundstrokes into the corners.
Djokovic had to save a break point at 4-4 but could not resist next time around, Sinner hammering away a drop shot and then smacking a forehand out of reach to move 6-5 up before serving out the set.
He carried the momentum into the second, an over-the-shoulder backhand volley bringing huge cheers with a first break quickly following.
By now Djokovic was under pressure every time he served and a successful challenge from a return that landed on the line gave the Italian daylight on the scoreboard, with four points in a row from 0-30 down ensuring a two sets to love lead.
Ultimately he could not maintain that standard - or Djokovic did not allow him to - but Sinner showed that he can mix it with the big boys on the grandest stage.