Australian Open (semi-final): Novak Djokovic – Aslan Karatsev

Latest confrontations

This will be a first between these two players.

Tournament history

This is the 17th participation of Novak Djokovic in this Australian Open. He reached the semi-final for the 9th time in his career. Note that he always lifted the trophy when he reached this level of competition.

For his part, the incredible Aslan Karastev is playing in the final draw of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career.

In this edition

To get there, Novak Djokovic won against Jeremy Chardy, Frances Tiafoe, Taylor Fritz, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev. It is only against the French that the Serb has not lost a set (he has already lost 5 sets since the beginning of the tournament).

Aslan Karatsev reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by defeating Mager, Gerasimov, Schwartzaman, Auger-Aliassime and Dimitrov. The Russian lost 3 sets in his last two matches.

Analysis

That’s it, Aslan Karatsev will now face the best player in the world. Finally, if one sticks to what I was able to write during the last analysis, the Russian should take advantage of Novak Djokovic’s forfeit to escape to the final. Oh no, that would be too big.

Clearly, Aslan Karatsev has nothing to lose and this is what could allow him to spread his wings once again. However, Novak Djokovic is a tornado that is feared by any object or flying being (identified or not by the way).

Novak Djokovic proposed us a disjointed tennis during his last match against Alexander Zverev. It is nevertheless clear that he knows how to be present as soon as the rally starts, and even after long rallies. I begin to believe that he is really injured, but that does not prevent him from proposing a coherent level of play.

Aslan Karatsev has been incredible since the beginning of this tournament. He could well succeed in titilating more than once this Novak Djokovic there. Simply, and as I’ve said in my previous analysis, I think Novak Djokovic will only come out on the court if he knows he can win. Otherwise, it won’t do him any good except to aggravate his supposed injury (he’s too proud to lose under these conditions and the possible financial loss will be anecdotal).

If we stick to the tennis plan, it is obvious that Aslan Karatsev showed some interesting elements to use against Novak Djokovic. I am thinking in particular of his rather impressive aggressiveness at times, whether in forehand or backhand.

However, we are in the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament, and the Russian will face one of the best players in the world. Despite his beaten child’s head, Novak Djokovic is formidable. He doesn’t get wet (as it could have been the case for Auger-Aliassime) and he should be able to control Karatsev’s efficient serve. In the rallies, the Serb will also have his say. He is one of the best defenders who will be able to master his opponent’s accelerating backhand. Djokovic is able to push his opponents to play an extra move and Aslan Karatsev has shown that he can get burned more than once when this is the case.

Aslan Karatsev has a little star above his head, and that’s what worries me. I would understand the prognosticators who are trying to get the Russian to win. He offered a great level of play and Novak Djokovic says he is not 100%. At my level, I can’t believe the world No. 1 isn’t in the final of this Grand Slam if he goes through with this match.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic wins

Medium risk

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