Australian Open 2021 Semifinals: Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev Preview, Head-to-Head & Prediction

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Sometimes Grand Slams have great stories to ponder on. One such story is Aslan Karatsev at the Australian Open 2021. The Russian qualifier will now play his first Grand Slam semifinal against World No.1 Novak Djokovic.

Karatsev is ranked 114th in the ATP ranking and just became the first player to reach the semifinal stage on his Grand Slam debut. He is also just the fifth qualifier in history to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. And now he finds himself playing against the World No.1 and defending champ at Aussie Open, Novak Djokovic.

Aslan Karatsev reacts during his quarter-final match against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov. REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev: Preview

Karatsev’s journey is no less than a miracle. The Russian before the start of the Aussie Open had an ATP tour record of 3-10. And now he has won five matches in a row. Along with his compatriots, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, it became the first time that three Russians have reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.

Karatsev is the first Russian player since Marat Safin to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open. On his way to the semis, he defeated the likes of Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger Aliassime, and Grigor Dimitrov. Karatsev played the latter three in the 3rd round, 4th round, and quarterfinals.

Read More: All You Need to Know About Aslan Karatsev

Novak Djokovic during his quarter-final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Novak Djokovic has had a different Australian Open. He has had injury issues and troubles on the court. But still, the World No.1 looks like a huge favorite for the Aus Open title. He is now in his 9th Australian Open semifinal.

Despite injury troubles, Djokovic beat the likes of Milos Raonic, Alexander Zverev, etc. He has again beaten some big names and hasn’t had much trouble. The Serbian has been troubled by a lot of players, but his mental strength has surpassed them all. Djokovic was close to getting upset by 27th seed Taylor Fritz in the third round.

Djokovic vs Karatsev: Head-to-Head

As Karatsev has only played 13 ATP matches before the Australian Open, he hasn’t played Djokovic before. So the Aussie Open 2021 semifinal clash will be their first meeting.

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his quarter-final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake.

Read More: Novak Djokovic Upstages Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal With Huge Career Milestone at Australian Open 2021

Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev: Prediction

Karatsev has shown a potent backhand drive. He hasn’t shied away from finding the lines and finishing the points quickly. But being inexperienced, his tennis is one-dimensional. Against Felix Auger Aliassime, Karatsev had tried to play at the net, but he failed most of the time. From the baseline, Karatsev will get points, but when drawn to the net he will be troubled.

Djokovic’s caliber is known, and even though he is not 100%, he can continue to semifinal win streak at Aussie Open. Karatsev has achieved a lot in the past 10 days, but he needs more in his arsenal to beat the best in the game.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to advance to his ninth Australian Open final in straight sets.

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