Fixture: Alexander Zverev vs Dusan Lajovic
Date: 14 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Fourth round (Round of 16)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80,000,000
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport 1 | India - Sony Six
Alexander Zverev vs Dusan Lajovic preview
World No. 7 Alexander Zverev will be looking to continue his excellent start to the season when he takes on 23rd-seeded Dusan Lajovic for a place in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday.
Zverev had to dig deep for the win in his opening round match against USA's Marcos Giron. But he has improved as the tournament has progressed, recording straight-sets victories over USA's Maxime Cressy and France's Adrian Mannarino in the second and third round respectively.
The German is through to the second week of the Australian Open for only the third time in his career. He reached the semifinals last year and the fourth round in 2019, where he was upset by Milos Raonic.
Serbia's Dusan Lajovic, meanwhile, has reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2014 French Open.
Lajovic had been on a seven-match losing streak coming into Melbourne, having failed to win a single match since his first-round exit at the 2020 French Open. But the Serb turned his fortunes around with a hard-fought five-set win over Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky in the Australian Open first round.
He would then beat Alexander Bublik and Pedro Martinez in his next two matches to confirm his place in the second week of the tournament.
Alexander Zverev vs Dusan Lajovic head-to-head
Alexander Zverev leads Dusan Lajovic 2-0 in their head-to-head record. Both of the pair's meetings have come at the French Open, in 2018 and 2019. And in both of those matches Zverev came away the victor in a five-set thriller.
Alexander Zverev vs Dusan Lajovic prediction
Alexander Zverev was in complete control during his match against Adrian Mannarino under the sun. The 6'6" German blasted 19 aces and 35 winners past Mannarino in what was his best performance at the Open so far this year.
Having finished runner-up at the US Open a few months ago, Zverev will be looking to go one step further in Melbourne.
Dusan Lajovic doesn't quite have the same kind of firepower that Alexander Zverev does. But the Serb is solid from the baseline, and possesses a technically sound one-handed backhand.
Lajovic will have to be proactive in the return games and try to take the ball early in order to disturb the German's rhythm. In their previous encounters it was Zverev's passiveness that allowed Lajovic to stay afloat, and the Serb will be hoping the same pattern is repeated in Melbourne.
But the 'new' Zverev is mentally stronger than the 2019 version, and is not afraid to pull the trigger when presented with the opportunity. He should come away with the win once again on Sunday, unless Lajovic brings something special to the table.
Prediction: Alexander Zverev to win in straight sets.