Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
by Sean Randall | February 20th, 2021, 3:47 pm
  • 30 Comments

In an unsurprising men’s final at the Australian Open tonight, it’s the top two tournament favorites from the start with Novak Djokovic going for a record-extending ninth Melbourne title against Daniil Medvedev who has never won a final this big before.

I picked Djokovic at the start of the event (as did so many others), and I’m going to stick with that prediction. But…Wow is Medvedev playing some good tennis.

The big Russian has won his last 20 matches and other then a blip against Filip Krajinovic in the third round — which led to his first career five set win — he’s been untouchable and untroubled.

I thought on this quick court that his countryman Andrey Rublev would give him problems, but Medvedev broke his spirit early. And then Stefanos Tsitsipas just didn’t have any answers against the Russian.

But Rublev has never won a set against Medvedev and Tsitsipas is now 1-6 vs. Daniil. Djokovic has won sets, has won matches and has won very big matches.

Djokovic beat Medvedev at the Australian Open in a tough fourth rounder in 2019. And again last year in the ATP Cup semifinals in another thriller. He leads 4-3 overall but Medvedev has won three of the last four and of these two coming, he’s been the more in-form player — he’s won his last three tournaments!

On these slick courts, I think the key will be the serve. Medvedev has been serving really, really well this week. Better than Djokovic even though the Serb has been racking up the aces.

But Medvedev with that wingspan is going to be tough to ace. And Daniil is also breaking serve more efficiently than Novak. He’s been a machine in that department.

So the serve and the return I’m going to give to Medvedev. Off the ground I’ll give the edge to Novak and call their speed, net game and defense as even, though for 6-foot-6 Medvedev sure flies around the court.

I think Novak will use the slice a lot. On a low-bouncing court that should be effective against the big guy.

I know Novak had this ab issue, but after two days off I’m going to say he’s OK. And Medvedev should be fine, as well (it’s going to be cool Sunday night in Melbourne).

If Medvedev were playing anyone else in the field, he’d be the favorite and I would pick him based on form. But like Rafael Nadal has Chatrier, Djokovic has Rod Laver and he’s never lost as the top seed at the tournament (41-0) and he’s never lost in this final (8-0).

“When Novak says he’s not going to hand anything to somebody, I believe him,” said Medvedev. “I know that to beat him you need to show your best tennis, be at your best physically maybe four or five hours and be at your best mentally maybe for five hours.

“You never know how the match is going to go. To win a Slam, especially against somebody like Novak, is already a big motivation, and I don’t think there’s anything that can make it bigger. I like Novak. I appreciate him as a tennis player. So I don’t take these words as something negative. I’m quite motivated without those words. I have nothing to lose, to be honest.”

Said Djokovic, “Being in this situation before many times I think helps me kind of gather all the necessary elements for me to peak at the right time, which is happening again.”

I think having played Nadal in that US Open final will be a great aid for Medvedev, but I don’t think it will be enough to get him over the finishing line here. He’ll keep it close, he’ll break Novak a bunch of times but in the end I think the Serb somehow comes out on top.
The Pick: Djokovic in 5

What would surprise me? Djokovic in an easy three sets. I could see Medvedev blowing Novak out or either winning in four of five, but Medvedev is so rock-solid right now that he’s going to be a problem, and Djokovic is going to have to solve that problem to a 18th Slam.

ESPN has the match live at 3:30am ET. If you can’t make it that early, there’s a good chance if you wake around 8am ET the match will still be going. Expect long points, long games, lots of screaming from Nova and Medvedev trying to get the crowd going.

The tournament began three weeks later and players had to endure a quarantine. And we still got the final we thought we would.


You Might Like:
Rafael Nadal v Daniil Medvedev For The US Open Title, Who’s The Pick?
Medvedev Leads Russia To ATP Cup Title Over Italy
Daniil Medvedev Threw Money At The Chair Umpire After Losing At Wimbledon [Video]
Medvedev Keeps Winning, Grabs Sofia Title Fucsovics
Medvedev Officially Breaks Big 4 Top 2 Ranking Lock

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

30 Comments for Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev For The Australian Open Title, Who’s The Pick?

Dave Says:

Djokovic in 4 Sets.


Django Says:

Djokovic 4


chofer Says:

I’ve already said Djokovic in four.

But I won’t be surprised if those four take the “five hours” required for a 5 set battle.

Because I don’t see neither of them being out-aced, this will be long either way.


chofer Says:

Gotta love Rod Laver. 2Happy, free-flowing”. The man knows!
https://twitter.com/rodlaver/status/1363308519248723970

But I’m reading conditions humid but cold. Which would favor Djokovic even more.


Nits Says:

I pick Medvedev in four tight sets.


Van Persie Says:

No prediction, just hope Nole wins this. Nole idemooo!


Daniel Says:

Match is so fast, this could be the fastest 1st set tiebreak ever. 37’ Djoko 6-5 Medveded to serve😳
Insane ball bashing by both, eventually Djoko tryijng a drop or slice to break rhythm.


Daniel Says:

0-40 with net helping Djoko. GonDjoko!


Van Persie Says:

Feel a bit better now… but wow, what a match!


Daniel Says:

And he takes 1st 7-5 raising his return game when needed. Starijg second on top adding extra pressure to Medv


Dave Says:

Daniel,

Who was saying Medvedev doesn’t show nerves on hard courts? I saw nerves to lose the set.


Van Persie Says:

Med all fired up now. Nole does not have to relax now!


Van Persie Says:

Nole shows again what Returning means 🙂


Van Persie Says:

Yes Daniel, Med was not a cool cat at the end of 1st set.


Dave Says:

Exactly! Nole is completely locked in on return.


FedExpress Says:

disappointing end to a promising start.

When will the next gen start to win Gs?


All out Says:

This looks like Djokovic in straight sets. Medvedev is not doing enough on the return and his serve has dropped in this second set. Djokovic as usual completely in the zone as he always is in the finals.


Van Persie Says:

Match is not over… Med pushed Rafa to 5 sets in the 2019 at UO.
But Med lost his nerves, pressure of the final, that could cost him Tsitsi made him look very good, and Nole is not Tsitsi.


FedExpress Says:

dont be delusional. Its more than over.

That son of a faker gets his 18th GS.


Daniel Says:

After an intense start Djoko dominates and proves why he is the best HC player.

9th AO and 18 Slam. Another great start of the year. Seems the 310 weeks are now in his gasp.

Congrats Djoko, well deserved victory playing hos best for last as usual!!


FedExpress Says:

Will never like this player. too much fakeness.


All out Says:

Congratulations to Djokovic and his fans on another Australian open victory. He looks absolutely unplayable here once he reaches the quarters. Almost like Nadal at French. The medvedev on a 20 match winning streak showed up for like 4 games in total. He’s still got a lot to work on especially the mental aspect of the game. He lets the crowds emotion get to him and at this stage in his professional career it’s dangerous. The next Gen will have to wait another year for a slam from the looks of it.
Off we go to French now.. will it by 21-20-18 or 20-20-19? Only time will tell but the big 3 have cemented their legacy. It will take another generation of tennis players to achieve what they’ve done so far


Van Persie Says:

I really did not expect that. I was really afraid of Med.🙂

The King of Melbourne won again!


Van Persie Says:

Daniil is really lovely. Congrats for being in the finls and I am sure his time will come! He still has a lot to learn🙂


Van Persie Says:

Starting to hope now, that Nole will be Nr. 1 at the end of this year as well😁


chrisford1 Says:

Maybe nothing more fearsome in tennis now, maybe ever than when Djokovic gets in the zone, feels it. And how so many times it played in the minds of foes when level with or outplaying a Djokovic at his B game – that he can elevate his game, more often than not, at the critical times.
I think it got a little in the head of Daniil, a wonderful addition to the top if he can regroup and make long streaks recur, at the end of the 1st set and beginning of the 2nd. By the 3rd or 4th game of the 3rd, Medvedev looked not like he was ever giving up, but he was emotional and shell shocked. He played great in that 1st set and Poof!!, it was all gone so fast and how he couldn’t figure out in the middle of the match. Then starts the 2nd and things look good, only to see Novak just get near untouchable and Poof!! he’s broken twice!


chrisford1 Says:

I think Wog Boy is just at the beginning of a long celebratory bender.


Django Says:

Wonderful match.


Wog Boy Says:

You can’t even guess how right you are, just woke up with packed Wembley stadium in my head and I don’t regret it…though I need a double dose of Neurofen.


Wog Boy Says:

^^^^^
That was for CF1


Leave Your Comment [guidelines]

Top story: Djokovic Stunned By Evans At Masters Carlo Masters; Nadal Rolls, Rublev Next