Serbia Open 2021: Novak Djokovic vs Miomir Kecmanovic preview, head-to-head & prediction

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic
Namit Kumar

Match details

Fixture: (1) Novak Djokovic vs (8) Miomir Kecmanovic

Date: 23 April 2021

Tournament: Serbia Open 2021

Round: Quarterfinal

Venue: Barcelona, Spain

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Red Clay

Prize money: US$235,238

Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST

Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Novak Djokovic vs Miomir Kecmanovic preview

Novak Djokovic is looking to get some claycourt match practice under his belt in Belgrade before he tries defending the titles in Madrid and Rome.

Djokovic was outstanding in Melbourne, where he went undefeated in the ATP Cup and won his ninth Australian Open title. But the World No. 1 took an extended injury break after that, and returned straight on clay.

Djokovic's clay season did not get off to an ideal start, as he bowed out in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters against Dan Evans. However, he showed no signs of rustiness in his opening match at Belgrade, defeating Kwon Soon-woo in straight sets.

The 33-year-old now comes up against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarterfinals.

Miomir Kecmanovic
Miomir Kecmanovic

Kecmanovic has not played on the ATP tour for long, but has been racking up some decent results recently. The 21-year-old got plenty of match practice on the claycourts of South America earlier this year, even reaching the semifinals in Buenos Aires.

Kecmanovic was knocked out of the first round in Monte Carlo by Fabio Fognini, but has had a solid week so far in Belgrade. He defeated Facundo Bagnis in the first round in two tiebreaks, and then outlasted Arthur Rinderknech in three sets to reach the quarterfinal.

Novak Djokovic vs Miomir Kecmanovic head-to-head

The quarterfinal encounter in Belgrade is the first match between Novak Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.

Novak Djokovic vs Miomir Kecmanovic prediction

Novak Djokovic comes into this match as the overwhelming favorite. Playing in his hometown, the Serb seems to have got over any jitters he may have felt after his shock loss to Dan Evans, and is looking in good nick now.

Djokovic's movement and consistency from the baseline are still the best on tour, even if clay is not his most preferred surface.

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

But Miomir Kecmanovic will be aware that the World No. 1 is capable of lapses in concentration, as he showed against Evans. The 21-year-old will look to use his all-round consistency and heavy backhand down the line to prevent Djokovic from taking control of proceedings.

However, if Djokovic finds his footing early and keeps his error count low - as he usually does - it is hard to see Kecmanovic get anything out of the contest.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.

For more updates on the Serbia Open, visit the tournament's official Instagram and Twitter handles.

Edited by S Chowdhury
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