“Gonna Eat Popcorn and Enjoy It”: Novak Djokovic on Medvedev vs Tsitsipas Semifinal at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/18/2021, 6:19 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the second set during his semi final match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic took on Russian player Aslan Karatsev in the semifinal of the Australian Open 2021. It was their first meeting and the Serbian ace triumphed over World No. 114. Aslan Karatsev. The match ended in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-2, in a match that lasted for 1 hour and 53 minutes.

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In the opening set, Djokovic held serve in the opening game. Both players served with great effect, until the eighth game. The World No.1 got the required break and sealed the set 6-3 after consolidating the break in the next game. During the set, Djokovic hit six aces and registered just one unforced error. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi final match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

On the other hand, Aslan registered 13 unforced errors, giving Novak a clear advantage to seal the set in his favor. Djokovic won 78% of his second serve points, whereas the Russian player won 30%. 

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Novak Djokovic Breaks Aslan Karatsev Twice Early On in the Second Set

In the second set, Karatsev served in the first game and took a 1-0 lead. In the third game, Novak raised the bar and broke his opponent in his next two service games, taking a 5-1 lead after 21 minutes into the set. Although Aslan broke Novak later, it was too little too late, as the Serbian superstar clinched the set 6-4. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 18, 2021 Russia’s Aslan Karatsev during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

 As Djokovic was one set away from booking a spot in the final, he showed no remorse and broke Aslan in the first game of the third set. In the fourth game, Aslan fought hard to break Djokovic to level the set 2-2. However, Novak never allowed his opponent to get an upper hand in the match, winning the next three games. He eventually served for the set and won 6-2. 

After winning the match, Novak stated, “Huge congratulations to him, he reached the semifinal of a grand slam on his debut, I don’t think that has ever happened in the history of tennis. Congrats to him, he played a great tournament.” 

Djokovic spoke about the second semifinal to be played tomorrow and added, “It’s going to be interesting to see them play. It’s always a high-intensity match between the two of them. Both are playing great. I’m going to take the popcorn and enjoy it.”

With the win today, Djokovic is the first player to reach the men’s final at the Australian Open this year. He awaits the winner of the match between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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Rohan Kollare

599 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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