2021 Australian Open Semi-Final – Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev Preview & Prediction

Select the sports you want to hear about and TSZ will send the best previews, analysis and predictions straight to your inbox. Sign up today!

THE FACTS

Where is Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev taking place? Melbourne Park, Melbourne

When is Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev on and what time does it start? Thursday 18th February, 2021 – not before TBC (UK)

Where can I get tickets for Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev? Click here to reach the official 2021 Australian Open ticket selection

What channel is Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev on? The 2021 Australian Open will be televised on Eurosport so it is worth checking their schedule for this specific match

Where can I stream Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev in the UK? Sky customers can stream this match on the Sky Go app. Alternatively, the match can be streamed to subscribers of Eurosport Player, either on the official website or as an add-on to an Amazon Prime subscription

THE LOWDOWN

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

  • Novak Djokovic lost the first set of his quarter-final match with Alexander Zverev via a tiebreak as his opponent looked impressive but the Serb dug deep to win the next three.
  • 33-year-old Djokovic looked a little more comfortable on court than he has since a five-set tussle with Taylor Fritz in the third round when he tore a muscle in his side, though he started tightly once again against Zverev.
  • The world number one is chasing a record-extending eighth Australian Open title here on his self-confessed favourite court and he has never lost a semi-final here in Melbourne.

ASLAN KARATSEV

  • World number 114 Aslan Karatsev is leaving pundits speechless with his incredible run to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in his debut appearance at a Grand Slam.
  • The Russian qualified for the tournament back in January to make his first ever major appearance and has beaten three straight seeds now in Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov to meet Novak Djokovic for the first time.
  • Karatsev has largely spent his career on the Challenger circuit before now and it should be an incredible jump up the ATP rankings next Monday, well surpassing his career-high 111th achieved in November last year.

THE PREDICTION

Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev went a set down against Grigor Dimitrov but played well throughout to take full opportunity of the Bulgarian’s clear injury issues towards the end of their quarter-final match. Now he faces the world number one and reigning seven-time Australian Open champion in Novak Djokovic in the fourth-consecutive “biggest match of his career” in the past fortnight. It is difficult to avoid the furore around the 27-year-old here to stay objective but there is bound to be countless punts placed on the world number 114 to do the unthinkable here and why not? Karatsev has beaten three seeds so far and he has every chance at taking a set here at least, just like Djokovic’s last four opponents: Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev. The returning crowds in Melbourne will give Karatsev a boost too, though he does not seem to need that kind of motivation. What spectators will certainly do, though, is put a spring back in Djokovic’s step. He desperately needs a shorter match here to conserve energy for a tough final and he will be furious with himself if he does not beat this qualifier in three. Therefore, despite the incredible journey of Aslan Karatsev, Novak Djokovic to win this semi-final in straight sets is still the likeliest outcome. Add, at least one tiebreak in the match for Karatsev’s resolve but even that will be a tough ask against Djokovic at this stage of a Grand Slam.

TSZ Latest