Australian Open 2021: Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Aslan Karatsev

Novak Djokovic’s favorite surface

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [Q] Aslan Karatsev (RUS)

This match is the biggest mismatch on paper I can remember in a Grand Slam semifinal. On one hand, the greatest Australian Open champion of all time. A man who has won 8 of the 13 Plexicushion Australian Open events vs. another man in his Grand Slam debut.

So is the result a foregone conclusion. Not exactly. Novak Djokovic has been taped up and is not at 100%. He was extended to four sets in the 2nd round, five sets in the 3rd round, and 4 sets in both the round of 16 and quarterfinal rounds. The surface is playing fast which means more close sets as players hold more often on faster courts. Karatsev has a lot of momentum with his 5 main draw wins and 3 qualifying wins. Can he do what Tiafoe, Fritz, Raonic, or Zverev did vs. Djokovic? Yes. If he does a little more, he may topple a titan.

Don’t Count on It

Djokovic has 8 Australian Open titles, 11 hard court major wins, 17 total major wins, and the world #1 ranking for a reason. Barring physical problems or mentally just locking up Novak Djokovic SHOULD win this match.

My Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 7-6, 6-2

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