After almost two full weeks of action, two men remain in the quest to hoist the hardware at the 2021 Australian Open. Will fourth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev claim his first major title by upsetting top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the finals? Will Djokovic make it three straight Down Under by holding off the still blossoming Russian as the sportsbook betting favorite?
With Sunday’s men’s final looking like an absolute thriller just waiting to happen, let’s find out which ATP World Tour star is going to prevail.
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
When: Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021 at 3:30 a.m. ET
The 25-year-old Russian won his first two matches in straight sets over Vasek Pospisil and Roberto Carballes Baena. In the third round, Medvedev had to go the distance to get past Serbian Filip Krajinovic.
Medvedev then smacked American Mackenzie McDonald senseless in straight sets in the fourth round before doing the same to fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals. The No. 4 seed then dominated fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in the semifinals on Friday morning. Over six matches, Medvedev ranks fourth in aces (74), first in break points won (35), and seventh in first serve points won (81%). The Russian also ranks second in first serve return points won and second in second serve points won (103).
Djokovic Prepared for a Fight
The reigning two-time Aussie Open champion won his opener in straight sets but needed four sets to get past American Frances Tiafoe in the second round and five sets in order to dispatch American Taylor Fritz in the third round. Up two sets to love, the 33-year-old Djokovic suffered an apparent abdominal injury early in the third set that allowed Fritz to claim the next two sets. The sweet-swinging Serbian then blitzed Fritz 6-2 in the final set.
The 17-time major winner needed four sets to get past 14th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic and sixth-seeded Alex Zverev in the fourth round and quarterfinals respectively. The world No. 1 reached the finals by stopping unseeded qualifier Aslan Karatsev in three sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Thursday.
Djokovic leads all players in aces this event (100) while ranking third in break points won (30), fourth in first-serve return points won (121) and first in second serve return points won (127). Djokovic has won two straight and four of the last six Australian Open titles. I
Prior to the start of this year’s Australian Open, I predicted Medvedev would top Djokovic in the finals and I still believe that will come true. Medvedev is 3-4 in seven career matches against Djokovic, but has won three of the last four meetings after losing his first three encounters against the world No. 1 Medvedev took out Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 in last year’s season-ending ATP Finals and I believe fully believe he’s going to win the 2021 Australian Open.
Medvedev is the most cerebral player in the world and has no holes in his game. Medvedev is rock-solid with his ground strokes and has a deceptively effective serve. Medvedev moves extremely well for a guy that’s 6-6. You can be shocked all you want, but I won’t be – when Daniil Medvedev beats Novak Djokovic to win the 2021 Men’s Australian Open title.
Pick: Daniil Medvedev In 5 Sets
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