The best tennis player on the planet, Novak Djokovic, played a spectacular match of the quarterfinals of the Australian Open against Alexander Zverev in Melbourne, and he came to victory in a three-hour marathon with 6: 7 (6), 6: 2, 6: 4, 7: 6 (6)!
There was an outburst of rage, breaking the racket and sitting on the concrete during the break, interruptions due to insects and bird droppings, reversals and oscillations, but in the end only one thing matters, Novak continues the march to his ninth cup in Melbourne!
Novak played with nerves, his own and the fans, and in the end he managed to schedule a duel with the biggest hit of the tournament, Aslan Karacev – the Russian is the biggest sensation and unknown in the Australian Open, because he reached the semifinals on his debut, through qualifications.
On the other hand, Zverev and Djokovic were old acquaintances from the world’s top, and Novak had a difficult task because the injury left a mark. Zverev played against a negative tradition because he never beat a player from the top 10 at the Grand Slam, Novak extended his agony.
At the same time, this is Novak’s continuation of the campaign for the 18th Grand Slam, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have 20 each.
The Spaniard will play against Stefanos Cicipas on Wednesday at 9.30, and at 5.00 the Russian derby Rublev – Medvedev, on the other side of the skeleton of the competition, will fight for the semifinals.
FOURTH SET, Djokovic – Zverev 6: 7, 6: 2, 6: 4, 7: 6
7: 6 – Victory! Novak ruled and confirmed the good tradition of playing important tie-breaks! The second match ball was triumphant, Djokovic served an ace and caused enthusiasm in his box.
6: 6 – Novak went to the net nicely for the first point and beat Zverev, then the exchange was short for 30: 0 with a drop shot, he made Zverev chase the ball and send it out.
The next point was spectacular, Novak reached 40: 0 from a hopeless situation, his back was turned and all that mattered to him was to return the ball to the rival’s field, he did it ideally.
He spilled it all, allowing Zverev to reach the break and set the ball. It was annulled by Novak’s 22nd ace in the match, then Djokovic entered the long-awaited tie-break.
5: 6 – It was a long exchange in which Zverev took the lead with 30: 0, and Novak, tired and frustrated by the miss, just dropped the racket from his hands. After the German’s new point, he wondered “is this possible”, he lost focus from the game, he looked towards the box.
All he had to do was win the tie-break.
5: 5 – The mini marathon ended with the equalization of Djokovic, the game lasted seriously, although Zverev did not have a chance for a break. The exchanges were marathon, Novak finally confirmed that he kept the rhythm.
4: 5 – Perfection of Zverev, even Novak congratulated him on the point for 30: 0, although it was obvious that he was frustrated with the current situation.
4: 4 – Nothing from the break, it was not good for Djokovic’s staff. Everyone grabbed each other by the head with sighs of relief, because Zverev was on the verge of a break twice.
3: 4 – There was no break chance, Zverev prevented Novak from attacking the turnaround in this set more seriously.
3: 3 – There were oscillations, but Novak did not question the winning of this game, three of them separate him from the semifinals.
2: 3 The break is back! Novak will serve for the equalizer.
1: 3 – It seemed that it would be 0: 4, Novak managed to prevent that by taming three break points.
0: 3 – Novak has something to regret, he missed two break chances in this game.
0: 2 – New break Zvereva!
0: 1 – The rhythm at the start of the 4th set was calmer, this time it suited Zverev better.
Djokovic: *misses backhand*
Nobody: *enjoys this match* pic.twitter.com/x6R3ODU1K1
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) February 16, 2021
THIRD SET – Novak’s crisis lasted until the racket was broken, and then, a big turnaround
6: 4 – That’s it, the set separates Novak from the semifinals! It seems that the shock therapy with breaking the racket woke Novak, Zverev psychologically failed to cope with that moment and keep the rhythm, although he dictated the pace.
5: 4 – A marathon exchange was seen in which Novak took the lead with 40: 0, a spectacular point, the point of the match went to Djokovic!
4: 4 – The break wouldn’t be worth it if Novak didn’t justify it. He did it in an almost perfect way, losing only one point.
3: 4 Novak returned the break! Zverev’s double mistake, at the right time!
2: 4 – Novak “blew up” by breaking the racket, so he took a new game with his serve. Now he has to seriously attack Zverev in order to “replay” the return of the break as in the first set.
1: 4 – Before the start of the fifth game, Zverev went to replace the racket, and Novak used the break to sit on the concrete and rest. Then he gambled the break chance and broke the racket with the advantage of Zverev.
Is there a court abuse violation? pic.twitter.com/PyraGhK2Pp
– Del🇪🇺 (@Stroppa_Del) February 16, 2021
Zverev used that to defend the service.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 16, 2021
1: 3 Brave game won, but not Novak’s behavior. He was nervous again, he was arguing, it seems, I was a little alone with myself, but there were also words and glances from the inside.
0: 3 – Zverev took control of the rhythm of the match, Novak has something to regret about the previous game, now he has to chase the break again.
0: 2 – Novak couldn’t believe how cheaply he gave away key points, again Zverev has the advantage of a break!
0: 1 – Zverev had a great first serve, but Novak was not even close to a break.
SECOND SET – Novak dominated from the start with two tied breaks
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 16, 2021
6: 2 – Although Zverev threatened with 30: 0, Novak patiently and slowly built an equalizer, and then honored the German with two aces! The set lasted less than half an hour, Novak lost only three points in his serve. An impressive fact, and it should be reminded that Zverev never beat the Top 10 players at the Grand Slam.
5: 1 – New express game, and here Zverev was only an extra, only a game separates Novak from the equalizer.
4: 1 – Novak seems satisfied with two breaks “fore”, he did not spend in this game.
4: 0 – Zero for Zvereva! Novak did not leave him a shred of hope, the game lasted 68 seconds.
— #AlwaysProudOfNovak (@Slavica_NoleFam) February 16, 2021
3: 0 – Novak Zvereva was honored with one applause for a good move, but the German with Russian roots had to congratulate him in the end. Novak uses the first new break chance for a convincing 3-0.
2: 0 – Perfection from the game, which Novak finished with an ace without losing a point, hit the line, Zverev immediately saw that there was no point in raising the racket.
1: 0 – At the right time! Novak opened the set with a break, corrected the mistake from the beginning of the match and now, for the first time in the match, he completely controls the rhythm of the duel.
FIRST SET: Novak returned the break, then fell in the tie-break
6: 7 (6) – With a mini break, Novak took the lead with 2: 0, but he gambled it. He seemed frustrated because of that, and then he continued to equalize until the end. However, the third set of balls was thawed to Zverev.
Here, a little earlier, Zverev had the set ball at 6: 5, Novak annulled it, so there was a break to change sides.
6: 6 – The match was introduced in a tie-break, Novak did not spend too much in this game and did not chase a new break.
6: 5 – Melje Novak, he played and Zverev is now in the knockdown. Once again, Djokovic took the game without losing a point, for the second time in the match.
5: 5 – Novak returned the break!
4: 5 – Finally, the game flared up and developed, there were dynamic and longer exchanges, going online, and Novak showed character when it was difficult. He prevented a break and set the ball!
3: 5 – Two games are tied at zero, first Novak served without a mistake, then the German.
3: 4 – Novak does not show any indications that he can continue until the break.
2: 3 – Novak took the lead with 40:15, but he gambled it and Zverev got a break chance. At the right moment, the strongest serve prevented the worst, through two aces.
1: 3 – The service serves Zverev solidly, he collected two more aces and maintains the advantage of the break. By the way, at one point in the match, there was an unexpected break because the children had to clean the bird droppings from the concrete of Melbourne.
1: 2 – Novak finally consolidated, did not lose points unnecessarily and confirmed that he is returning to the match. Zverev has not shown anything epochal so far, only the awakening of Djokovic is awaited.
0: 2 Express game for Zvereva, with two aces and no lost points, confirmed the break. Novak shortened the shots and hit the net, losing points cheaply.
0: 1 Novak was the first to serve, and how – ace opened the match. Then he hit the net, then repeated the ace, but a double service error followed. Then Zverev had the opportunity for a break chance, he used it thanks to the mistakes of “number 1”.
BEFORE THE MATCH
Novak had problems with an abdominal muscle injury in the previous days, which is why he was uncertain about the clash with Miloš Raonić (7: 6 (4), 4: 6, 6: 1, 6: 4) in the previous round.
This case raised a big storm in Australia, some even doubted the credibility of his injury, but in the meantime several other tennis players complained about it (Lajović, Beretini, Rud, Martinez).
Due to that, it is unknown in what physical condition the Serbian tennis player will meet the German, who reached the quarterfinals with a victory over Dušan Lajović.
The winner of this match goes to Andrej Karacev, who surprised the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in four sets, while we get the second semifinal pair from the matches Rublev – Medvedev and Cicipas – Nadal.
By the way, Zverev reminded before the match that he had already beaten Djokovic in Rome and London, which means that he knows how to play against the best in the world, and it is up to Novak to prove that Sasha is wrong.
The match was supposed to start around 10.30, but a slightly longer duel between Serena Williams and Simone Halep scheduled the match for 11.00.
In the warm-up, Novak acted better than two days ago, let’s hope that he will confirm with the game that the injury is a thing of the past.
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Source: СРБИН.инфо by srbin.info.
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