Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas preview, head-to-head and prediction

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Match details

Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs (5) Stefanos Tsitsipas

Date: 13 June 2021

Tournament: Roland Garros 2021

Round: Finals

Venue: Paris, France

Category: Grand Slam

Surface: Red Clay

Prize money: €17,171,108

Live telecast: USA – NBC Sports / Tennis Channel | UK – ITV | India – Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas preview

In an astronomically rare occurrence, Rafael Nadal will not be contesting the Roland Garros final. Instead, his conqueror Novak Djokovic will attempt to become the first man in the Open Era to win every Slam twice as he takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

Novak Djokovic beat Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 on Friday, handing the Spaniard his first ever loss at Roland Garros from a set up. Djokovic also became the first player ever to oust the King of Clay in the semifinals of the French Open.

The World No. 1 had a nightmare start to the match as he failed to convert break points in the opening game and soon after lost his own serve. Nadal then quickly amassed a whopping 5-0 lead, giving the Serb and his fans flashbacks of the 2020 final.

But this time, Novak Djokovic responded before things went completely out of control. He reeled off three games in a row, and although Nadal eventually closed out the set 6-3, he knew would have a fight on his hands.

Djokovic drastically improved on his serve in the next set, while also infusing a lot more power into his returns. He broke Nadal twice to level the match at one set all.

The third set was easily one of the finest sets ever played at Roland Garros. Both men brought out their most spectacular shot-making and defense, sending audiences around the world into raptures.

The Serb served for the set at 5-4, but Nadal came storming back to level the score. The Spaniard then earned a set point on Djokovic’s serve at 6-5, but couldn’t capitalize.

The set eventually went to a tiebreaker, where Djokovic displayed some astounding defense to give himself a two-sets-to-one lead. And although he did trail 0-2 in the fourth, Nadal eventually faded away due to fatigue and a left ankle issue.

Standing in the way of Novak Djokovic’s bid to win his second Roland Garros title is Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will be playing his maiden Slam final. The Greek defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 earlier on Friday.

Tsitsipas wasn’t quite at his best in the semifinal, but he did just enough to take the first two sets. Zverev then upped his level while the Greek retreated, allowing the German to get back on level terms.

Tsitsipas then saw himself trailing 0-40 in the first game of the decider, and the match seemed set to slip from his fingers at that point. But some errors from the lanky German allowed Tsitsipas to escape with a hold, and he never looked back from there.

Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas head-to-head

Novak Djokovic leads Stefanos Tsitsipas 5-2 in the head-to-head, and has won their four previous meetings in a row. Djokovic also leads the clay head-to-head 3-0, which includes the Serb’s thrilling five-set win over Tsitsipas in last year’s semifinals.

Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas prediction

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Given the performance displayed by Novak Djokovic against Rafael Nadal, he heads into the men’s final as the firm favorite. While Stefanos Tsitsipas has the legs to go toe-to-toe with the Serb, he is yet to display the kind of mental strength that is the preserve of the Big 3.

Tsitsipas’s advantage is that he can generate huge amounts of power on his serve and groundstrokes. But that will likely play into the hands of Djokovic, who is an expert at redirecting pace.

We could see a lot more defensive slices employed by the Greek in a bid to change the pace of the rallies. But it remains to be seen how well he handles Djokovic’s constant barrage to his backhand side.

If Tsitsipas hopes to win his first Slam, he would have to find a way to consistently hit through the Serb. But that is easier said than done, especially since Djokovic looks supremely determined to win his 19th Major title.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in four sets.

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Written by bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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