The 2021 Australian Open draws to a close tonight as Novak Djokovic looks to claim his ninth title at Melbourne Park. However, Daniil Medvedev and his 20 game win streak stand in the Serbians way, as Medvedev is looking to upset Djokovic and claim his first Grand Slam title.
Novak Djokovic (1) vs Daniil Medvedev (4) – From 3.30AM ET Sunday @ Rod Laver Arena
Although he has been on a much more tumultuous journey at Melbourne Park in 2021, Novak Djokovic has once again ended up in the final game of the Australian Open, as the world No. 1 prepares to compete for his ninth Australian Open championship on Sunday morning.
While Djokovic has been here eight times before, Daniil Medvedev has continued his elite form in 2021 to advance to his first Australian Open final and second Grand Slam final of his career, still on the hunt for his first major championship.
Having dropped sets in his second, third and fourth round matches as well as his quarter-final against Alexander Zverev, Djokovic has not put together the dominant Australian Open campaign that we have come to expect from the eight time Melbourne Park champion, with an alleged torn abdominal muscle hindering his play throughout the tournament.
Djokovic faced a tricky opponent in the semifinals, however he returned to the dominant level of play that we have come to expect from the world No. 1, defeating Grand Slam qualifier and debutant, Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, to advance to his ninth Australian Open final.
28 Grand Slam finals for Djokovic.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 18, 2021
His opponent on Sunday morning is the arguable form player on tour in 2021, world No. 4 Daniil Medvedev.
After defeating fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals, Medvedev advanced to a semifinal clash against fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It took three hard-fought sets, however Medvedev’s big serving, athletic and defensive style of play saw him navigate his way past Tsitsipas and advance to a Grand Slam final for just the second time in his career.
The fourth seed landed 17 aces against Tsitsipas, as Medvedev’s service game once again proved to be too strong for his opponent, winning 88% of his first serve points.
Having already won the ATP Cup earlier this month, Medvedev has been in career best form to start 2021, with the victory over Tsitsipas marking his 20th consecutive win.
Shot of the season? pic.twitter.com/86VDNqDhCt
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 19, 2021
Compared to the rest of the tennis world, Medvedev has a surprisingly good head to head record when coming up against Djokovic, having won three of their seven encounters.
The world No. 1 holds a 1-0 record over Medvedev at Grand Slam tournaments, however the Russian has one three of their past four matches including a straight set s victory at the ATP Cup earlier this year.
This match has the makings to be an all timer, with both players possessing elite athleticism (if 100% fit), stalwart defenses and a big service game.
Djokovic has landed 100 aces throughout the tournament and looks to no longer be hindered by the abdominal injury that he sustained in the third round. Whereas Medvedev has only been broken on eight service games at Melbourne Park, emphasising the importance of holding serve for their upcoming final.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 19, 2021
Having never lost and only been forced to five sets in two of his eight Australian Open finals, Novak Djokovic has proven to be almost unbeatable throughout his career on Australian shores.
However, Medvedev is the most equipped of any player on the tour to dethrone the Serb, having the mental strength to sustain long rallies as well as the athleticism to keep points alive and the power to win them when he gets the chance.
Djokovic will not go down without a fight, but we like Daniil Medvedev to win his debut Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park on Sunday morning.
Head to Head – Daniil Medvedev (-105)
Games Spread – Daniil Medvedev +1.5 (-135)
Sets Handicap – Daniil Medvedev +1.5 (-210)
We’ve got 14 days of hard core tennis action, so strap yourself in!
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