Olympics 2021: Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic preview, head-to-head & prediction

Alexander Zverev is through to the last four at the Tokyo Olympics
Alexander Zverev is through to the last four at the Tokyo Olympics

Match details

Fixture: (4) Alexander Zverev (GER) vs (1) Novak Djokovic (SER)

Date: 30 July 2021

Tournament: Olympics 2021

Round: Semifinals

Venue: Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan

Category: Olympic Games

Surface: Outdoor hard

Match timing: Approx. 5 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 4 am ET

Live telecast: USA - NBC & Peacock TV | UK - BBC TV | India - Sony Liv.

Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic preview

Alexander Zverev defeated Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in straight sets in the quarterfinals on Thursday to continue his serene progress through the draw at the Tokyo Olympics. The fourth seed has not dropped a set in four matches thus far.

Zverev was briefly tested by Chardy in the first set, but the German held firm to take it 6-4. He then raised his level and dropped only one game in the second to book a blockbuster semifinal showdown with top seed Novak Djokovic.

The 24-year-old German is one of the form players on tour this year, having won 31 of his 42 matches, including titles in Acapulco and Madrid. Zverev has also done well at the Majors, reaching the last eight at the Australian Open, semifinals at Roland Garros and the fourth round at Wimbledon.

In his first-ever appearance at the Olympics, Zverev is now within touching distance of securing a medal for his country. But he will have his task cut out against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has won three Majors this year and is chasing the gold medal in Tokyo.

Much like Zverev, Djokovic is yet to be tested in the Japanese capital, dropping serve just once en route to the semifinals. The Serb cruised into the final four with a devastating display against local hope Kei Nishikori, dropping only two games in the match.

With the win, Djokovic, who is now 38-3 for the year, equalled Roger Federer's record for the most singles wins at the Olympics since the sport's return to the competition in 1988.

Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic head-to-head

Alexander Zverev has won only two of his eight meetings against Novak Djokovic, so their head-to-head stands at 6-2 in favor of the Serb. The German beat the Serb in the title decider in Rome in 2017 and in the final of the 2018 ATP Finals but has since lost five consecutive matches.

The pair have clashed twice this year, at the Australian Open and the ATP Cup, with Djokovic winning both matches.

Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic prediction

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Alexander Zverev has a strong baseline game, which should stand him in good stead against Novak Djokovic, especially on hardcourt. The 24-year-old is one of the biggest servers on the men's tour and has also developed his skills at the net in recent seasons.

But taking down Djokovic in his current form is arguably the biggest challenge in tennis right now. The Serb is widely regarded as one of the best returners in the history of the game and has no noticeable weakness, especially on hardcourt, his strongest surface.

Although Zverev has served well this week -- committing only two double faults in four matches -- he will have to hit a higher gear against Djokovic and play one of the best matches of his career. The German will need to make a strong start and claim the opening set if he is to have any chance of dethroning the Serb.

All signs point to a win for Djokovic, who is eyeing a maiden appearance in the gold-medal match at the Olympics.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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