Fixture: Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Date: 9 October 2020
Tournament: Roland Garros 2020
Venue: Paris, France
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: Approx. €38,000,000
Match timing: Not before 5 pm CEST, 8.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - NBC / Tennis Channel | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Also check out: The Complete French Open 2020 Schedule
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas preview
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will compete in his 10th career semifinal at Roland Garros on Friday. The Serb has been in superb form at the tournament this year, losing just one set in five matches. He also has an astounding win-loss record of 36-1 in 2020, with the only blip being his disqualification at the US Open last month.
However, the one set Djokovic has lost in Paris was in his most recent match, against Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta on Wednesday. He looked uncomfortable throughout that encounter, supposedly carrying an injury he picked up earlier in the tournament.
The Serb had his neck taped from the start, and his left arm seemed to be giving him a lot of discomfort. He overcame those struggles to produce a performance that was just enough to beat Carreno Busta, but if the injury refuses to go away it could hamper him in the semifinal too.
Meanwhile Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No. 5 seed at Roland Garros 2020, has also had an excellent tournament so far. His toughest match came in the first round against Jaume Munar where he went down two sets to love, but Tsitsipas came roaring back to win the match in five.
Since then the Greek's level has only improved with every round; he has cruised past every subsequent opponent in straight sets. Tsitsipas had a particularly great match against Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinal, where he won comfortably with a 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 scoreline.
This is Tsitsipas' first career semifinal at Roland Garros and unlike his next opponent, the Greek looks fully fit and raring to go.
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas head-to-head
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas have faced off five times on tour so far, with the Serb currently leading the head-to-head 3-2.
Their first ever meeting was in the Round of 16 at the 2018 Canada Masters, which Tsitsipas won in three sets. The duo then faced off in the final of the Madrid Masters last year, where Djokovic got his revenge with a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Tsitsipas claimed victory in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters that year, before the Serb picked up back-to-back wins in France and Dubai.
Four of their five encounters have come on hardcourt. Djokovic won the only match that was played on clay.
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas prediction
This is going to be a test for both players, to say the least. While Novak Djokovic has been in excellent form all year, the match against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday just be the toughest fixture he has played since the Australian Open final.
Djokovic's injury could be a huge factor too, and Tsitsipas would certainly be fancying his chances of reaching his maiden Grand Slam final.
The semifinal will likely be a tussle between Djokovic's defense and Tsitsipas' aggression. Both players have excellent groundstrokes and great movement on clay, and the battle between the Greek's powerful serve and Djokovic's excellent return promises to be electrifying.
While Djokovic's injury is a major concern ahead of the game, he's likely to pull through if he manages it like he did in the quarterfinal.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in five sets.Published 08 Oct 2020, 13:16 IST