Australian Open (1/8 final): Novak Djokovic – Milos Raonic

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These two players have already met 11 times in official matches. It’s simple, Milos Raonic has never yet managed to win against Novak Djokovic. He’s a bête noire.

Tournament history

This is the 17th time Novak Djokovic has participated in the Australian Open. He has lifted the trophy 8 times (including last year) and has only been eliminated twice at this level of competition (last time in 2018 by Hyeon Chung).

Milos Raonic, meanwhile, is playing this Grand Slam tournament for the 11th time in his career. The Canadian reached the quarter-finals last season and his best performance is a semifinal in 2016. He has already reached 7 times in 1/8 finals and has lost only twice at this level of competition.

In this edition

Novak Djokovic entered the competition against Jeremy Chardy, whom he beat in 3 sets. The Serb then lost one set to Frances Tiafoe, then two to Taylor Fritz in the 3rd round.

For its part, Milos Raonic won its first three matches against Federico Coria, Corentin Moutet and Martin Fucsovics. It is worth noting that the latter two managed to steal a set from him.

Analysis

Is Novak Djokovic a simulator? At least that’s what Taylor Fritz would have ironically implied after his defeat: “I should have expected it. If Djokovic was really injured, he wouldn’t have continued. He was in trouble in the 3rd and 4th sets, not in the 5th”. In any case, Novak Djokovic announced that he suffered a muscle tear during a forehand return, and that he was worried about what would happen next. If it’s really a tear, I doubt he’ll be back in two days.

For this new match, we will thus start from the assumption that Novak Djokovic will be able to face Milos Raonic. If not, I do not see him declaring forfeit. Or he will give up during the match (too proud to lose Djoko’ ?).

It will take an incredible Milos Raonic to win against Novak Djokovic in a match in 3 winning sets. The Canadian can obviously hope for something if his opponent is well injured, but also if he manages to keep a good ratio of first balls. It is by staying solid on his serves that he will be able to disrupt the world number 1.

Unfortunately, the Canadian is dealing with one of the best receivers on the circuit. In the rallies, Novak Djokovic also seems too strategically stable not to insist on Raonic’s flaws: sometimes dubious moves and a backhand far from the level of his forehand.

Finally, this match will depend on the form of Novak Djokovic. It is currently too early to know if he will be able to play or if he will be 100% on the court. I still keep the idea that he won’t make it to the end of this match if he is injured.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic wins

Medium risk

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