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Olympics 2021: Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreno Busta preview, head-to-head & prediction

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Rajdeep Singh
ANALYST

Match details

Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic [SRB] vs Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

Date: 31 July 2021

Tournament: Olympics 2021

Round: Bronze Medal Playoff

Venue: Ariake Tennis Park, Tokyo, Japan

Category: Olympic Games

Surface: Outdoor hard

Match timing: 3 pm local time, 11:30 am IST, 6 am GMT, 2 am ET

Live telecast: USA - NBC & Peacock TV | UK - BBC TV | India - SonyLiv

Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreno Busta preview

Pablo Carreno Busta
Pablo Carreno Busta

World No. 1 and top seed Novak Djokovic suffered a shock upset in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, losing to fourth seed Alexander Zverev. The German was down a set and a break but rallied to take 10 of the last 11 games, stunning the Serb 1-6, 6-3, 6-1.

With the loss, Djokovic's hopes of winning the elusive Golden Slam have been crushed. But all is not lost for the Serb, who will face Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta on Saturday with a bronze medal up for grabs.

Carreno Busta lost his semifinal encounter with ROC's Karen Khachanov in straight sets. But that will not take the shine off a fantastic Olympic campaign for the Spaniard, who upset second seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals.

In the absence of Rafael Nadal, the onus was always on Carreno Busta to secure a medal for Spain. But he has his task cut out against the World No. 1 on Saturday.

Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreno Busta head-to-head

Novak Djokovic has a good record against Carreno Busta, leading 4-1 in the head-to-head. The Spaniard's only win against Djokovic came at the US Open last year, where the Serb was infamously disqualified for hitting a ball at a linesperson.

Novak Djokovic vs Pablo Carreno Busta prediction

Djokovic will look to put his loss to Zverev behind him and bounce back strongly in the bronze medal playoff. Given his record against Carreno Busta, Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite on Saturday.

Carreno Busta, on his part, will look to take the fight to the Serb. He's proven in the past that he has the game to trouble Djokovic. The Spaniard will need to be aggressive and prevent the Serb from dictating play from the baseline.

As long as fatigue does not impact Djokovic on Saturday, he should be able to come away with the win.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in 3 sets.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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