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Cincinnati 2020: Novak Djokovic vs Tennys Sandgren preview, head-to-head & prediction | Western & Southern Open

Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Western & Southern Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2020 Western & Southern Open
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 25 Aug 2020, 12:55 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Novak Djokovic vs Tennys Sandgren

Date: 25 August 2020

Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020

Round: Round of 16

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $4,674,780

Match time: Not before 3.30 pm EDT, 1 am IST

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Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Sony Ten 2

Novak Djokovic vs Tennys Sandgren preview

Tennys Sandgren at the 2020 Australian Open
Tennys Sandgren at the 2020 Australian Open

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will look to continue his impressive 2020 season and make the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open when he meets Tennys Sandgren in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

The Serb defeated Ricardas Berankis 7-6 6-4 in the second round on Monday, but the victory was not as straightforward as the scoreline may suggest. With his neck injury (that had led him to withdraw from doubles) flaring up, the 33-year-old struggled in the first set physically; at one point he even called a medical timeout to receive treatment.

Djokovic also spoke about the surface at Flushing Meadows following the match, and claimed that it was a bit too quick for him. Nevertheless, the Serb continued his unbeaten run in 2020, taking it to 19 matches - in the space of which he has won the ATP Cup, the Australian Open title and the Dubai Open title.

Novak Djokovic's opponent in the round of 16 is World No. 55 Tennys Sandgren. The American has had one up-and-down match after another in New York, beating both Lorenzo Sonego and Felix Auger-Aliassime in wildly fluctuating deciding sets.

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Sandgren's 6-7 6-2 7-6 second-round win against Auger-Aliassime required him to break the Canadian's serve as he served for the match. The American then won three points on the trot in the dying moments of the tiebreak to set up the meeting with Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic vs Tennys Sandgren head-to-head

Novak Djokovic (L) and Tennys Sandgren at the 2018 US Open
Novak Djokovic (L) and Tennys Sandgren at the 2018 US Open

The meeting at the Western and Southern Open on Tuesday is the third between the two players. Novak Djokovic currently leads the head-to-head 2-0 against Tennys Sandgren.

Both of their previous meetings came during Novak Djokovic's resurgence on the tour in 2018, when he won Wimbledon and the US Open. At Wimbledon, the Serb cruised to a straightforward win over Sandgren. But at the 2018 US Open, the American made things much more difficult for Djokovic.

Both players blew hot and cold throughout the match which went into a fourth set, with the Serb finally prevailing 6-1 6-3 6-7 6-2.

Novak Djokovic vs Tennys Sandgren prediction

Novak Djokovic getting treatment during his match against Ricardas Berankis
Novak Djokovic getting treatment during his match against Ricardas Berankis
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Novak Djokovic comes into the match as the overwhelming favorite, irrespective of his physical state and continuing neck problems.

The Serb's trademark all-court game has proven to be too much for Sandgren in the past. And with the American's form always being unpredictable, he is unlikely to consistently trouble the World No. 1 on Tuesday.

Djokovic's serve was not at its best in the match against Berankis, where he conceded three breaks and committed seven double faults. Sandgren will look to take advantage of that, and also force his opponent on the backfoot by dictating points on his own serve.

But that's easier said than done against one of the best defenders in the history of the game.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets.

Published 25 Aug 2020, 12:55 IST
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