Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev - 2021 Australian Open Men's Singles Semi-Final
Thursday February 18th, 2021 / 4:30am EST
TV: ESPN (US), Amazon Prime (UK) Stream live sports and exclusive originals on ESPN+. Sign up now!
World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia faces unseeded Russian Aslan Karatsev in the Semi-Final of the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. The match is scheduled to take place on Thursday February 18th, 2021 at 4:30am EST. The two players have never faced each other before.
Can Karatsev continue his dream run with yet another upset over the world number one?
Novak Djokovic is the top seed here in Melbourne and was considered the favorite for the title before the event began. However he suffered a now famous injury in his match against Taylor Fritz in the Third Round, struggling to finish the match and leading many to believe that he could not continue the tournament. However, he is been much improved since, overcoming big challenges from Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev to reach the Semis. He still does not quite look 100% but his grit and determination are huge weapons and have been carrying him through when the body has been failing. Even if he is not fully fit he is still considered a huge favorite here, given his health improvements, past success here and the lack of experience of his opponent.
Aslan Karatsev qualified for this event and was not expected to reach the Second Round, far less the Semi-Finals. What he has achieved this week will go down as one of the most remarkable feats in tennis history, being the first player to make the Semi-Finals on their Grand Slam debuts, and only the fifth Qualifier to do so. He has displayed a fantastic brand of attacking tennis, dominating much higher ranked opponents throughout with memorable victories over players such as eight seed Diego Schwartzman and eighteenth seed Grigor Dimitrov. He is playing some very inspired tennis and has built an incredible amount of momentum heading into this match. However, this will be by far the strongest test he has had in his career and enters this match as a huge underdog.
There will only be one outcome in this match, and it is a Novak Djokovic victory. While this has been said for many of the Russian's previous matches, he is now facing the greatest player to ever play at Melbourne Park in Djokovic, and one that has never lost here in the Semis or Final. He may make it interesting at first while the Serb figures his game out, but expect a routing win for Djokovic.