Novak Djokovic during his match against Matteo Berrettini
Date: 10 September 2021
Tournament: 2021 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $40,560,000
Match timing: 7 pm local time, 11 pm GMT, 4.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN/ESPN 2 | UK – Amazon Prime Video | India – Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev preview
Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev will square off in the semifinals of the 2021 US Open in what promises to be one of the best matches at Flushing Meadows this year.
Djokovic comes into this match on the back of a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win over Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Serb started slowly for the third match in a row but shifted gears to crush the Italian.
After dropping 20 points on serve in the opening set, the World No. 1 conceded a mere 14 points on his own delivery over the rest of the match.
Djokovic conceded just one break point opportunity in the final three sets, while also dominating Berrettini’s service games, winning at least 50% of return points in the second and third sets.
Djokovic is now just two wins away from completing a historic Calendar Slam. Should he manage to win the US Open, the Serb will also overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam race for the first time in his career.
However, his semifinal opponent Zverev is one of a handful of players to have defeated the Serb this year. The lanky German accounted for Lloyd Harris in his quarterfinal clash on Wednesday, prevailing 7-6(6), 6-3, 6-4.
Alexander Zverev during his match against Lloyd Harris
Harris began strongly and served for the opening set at 5-3. However, a poor game from the South African allowed Zverev to claw his way back into the set.
In the ensuing tiebreak, Harris found himself serving for the set at 6-5. However, a brief halt in play to fix a screen appeared to disrupt the South African’s momentum. He went on to lose three straight points, conceding the opening set in tame fashion.
The South African did not offer much resistance in the next two sets as Zverev’s monstrous serve kept him at bay.
Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev head-to-head
Novak Djokovic leads Alexander Zverev 6-3 in the head-to-head. Only one of Zverev’s three victories against the Serb has come on an outdoor hardcourt — in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.
Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev prediction
There is no doubt that Alexander Zverev will be Novak Djokovic’s toughest test at the US Open. Zverev’s mammoth first serve will help him win cheap points even against a returner of Djokovic’s caliber.
However, it remains to be seen if his second serve will hold up throughout the match. Zverev’s second serve looked extremely shaky at times against Harris and he cannot afford any slip-ups in that area against the Serb.
All things considered, Djokovic should be able to wear Zverev down, even if he does get off to another slow start.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in four sets.