The 2021 Australian Open Final will see World no.1 Novak Djokovic go up against Daniil Medvedev of Russia.
- Fixture: Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
- Date: 21st February 2021
- Tournament: Australian Open 2021
- Round: Final
- Venue: Melbourne, Australia
- Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
- Prize Money: $2,138,125 (USD)
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: Preview
17-time grand slam champion, Novak Djokovic, the top seed at the 2021 Australian Open, has made it to his ninth final in Melbourne. Remarkably, every time the Serb has made it to the final Down Under, he has walked away with the trophy.
Djokovic looked in top form in his initial matches of the 2021 tournament, but the World No. 1 has struggled with injury in the last few rounds. The 33-year-old has had to utilise all his experience and reserves of resilience to compete with a suspected abdominal tear.
The Serb had injury concerns in all of his matches post the third-round. He suffered an abdominal injury mid-match against Taylor Fritz, which went to five sets. He also beat two quality opponents – Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev – in four sets each to make the semifinal where he got the better of qualifier Aslan Karatsev.
Novak Djokovic has described his AO ’21 journey, a ‘roller-coaster’. In the first round, he defeated Frenchman Jérémy Chardy comfortably in straight sets 6-3,6-1,6-2. His next opponent was American Frances Tiafoe who took him to 4 sets. Eventually the Serb won 6-3,6-7(3),7-6(2),6-3.
His third round opponent was another American, 27th seed Taylor Fritz. Nole looked comfortable in the initial two sets before developing an abdominal injury which he later described an ‘abdominal tear’ mid-third set. He eventually used his experience to close out the match in 5 sets, 7-6(1),6-4,3-6,4-6,6-2. He then defeated Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(4),4-6,6-1,6-4 in the Round of 16.
His first big-task was against 6th seed Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals. He came from a set down to win the match in 4 sets, 6-7(6),6-2,6-4,7-6(6). His semi-final outing was a rather easy one against 114th ranked Aslan Karatsev. The world no.1 didn’t break such sweat to win 6-3,6-4,6-2.
Djokovic’s opponent, World no.4 Daniil Medvedev has been in the form of his life since the past few months. The Russian defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final to reach his first Australian Open final. In doing so, he has extended his winning streak to 20.
Medvedev, who posted the third-most hard court wins during the 2020 season behind only Novak Djokovic and his quarterfinal opponent Andrey Rublev, has a lot of self-belief that comes with a 20-match winning streak. Should he extend that to 21 at AO ’21, he’ll become the third Russian man to win a Grand Slam behind Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin, who each picked up one of their two majors in Melbourne.
Coming into this year’s Australian Open, Medvedev had played a leading role in Russia’s maiden ATP Cup win, dropping just a solitary set in his four victories. And, barring his third-round contest with Filip Krajinovic where he had to dig deep to win in five sets, the Russian has been near flawless en route to the finals at the Australian Open.
The 4th seed has just dropped 2 sets in his road to his second grand slam final. In the first round, he defeated Canadian Vasek Pospisil in straight sets 6-2,6-2,6-4. He followed it up with a comfortable 6-2,7-5,6-1 win over Roberto Carballés Baena in the second round.
He was taken down the distance in his third round match against 28th seed Filip Krajinović. The Russian held his nerve to win the match 6-3,6-3,4-6,3-6,6-0. His Round of 16 encounter was a rather easy one against Mackenzie McDonald, whom he defeated 6-4,6-2,6-3.
Into the last 8, he faced countryman and friend Andrey Rublev. He cruised past the 7th seed 7-5,6-3,6-2. In the semi-finals, he faced arch-rival Stefanos Tsitsipas who was coming of a brilliant comeback victory against Rafael Nadal. But the Russian showed his current form to get the better of the Greek 6-4,6-2,7-5.
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: Head-to-Head
This will be the 8th meeting between the duo. Djokovic leads the H2H 4-3. Although Medvedev has defeated the Serb 3 of the last 4 times they met. Their last meeting came at the 2020 ATP Finals where the Russian won in straight sets.
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev: Prediction
The match promises to be a mouth-watering affair. Both the players are ‘fire and ice’ in terms of experience. Novak Djokovic has never lost a final in the Rod Laver Arena and will be gunning for his 9th Australian Open title. On the other hand, this will be Medvedev’s first Australian Open final and only his second final at the majors.
In terms of play style, both share a fair amount of similarities. Novak Djokovic will back his world famous ‘return of serve’. The return on serve will be crucial to Nole’s bid for his 18th slam. As for Medvedev, his on-court movement and big forehand will be the key.
Expect a cracker of a match on Sunday night at Rod Laver Arena. The match is perfectly poised with the crowd back. The local Aussie crowd will want a new winner but aren’t much fond of Medvedev. It looks almost certain with the quality of tennis the two men are producing, a 5-set epic is out on cards. And Medvedev may just have enough to win his maiden slam and de-throne Djokovic.
Prediction: Medvedev to win in 5 sets.