Shanghai Masters 2019, quarter-finals: Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas, preview and prediction
The two have squared off against each other twice. After the Greek’s shock win over the Serb in the 2018 Canadian Masters, the latter avenged that defeat at the Madrid Masters earlier this year. While their first encounter was a closely fought battle, Djokovic secured a rather facile win in their most recent meeting.
Both players enter this clash in good form. After an unfortunate injury forced him to exit the US Open, the world number one Djokovic has returned with a bang. He did not drop a single set during the Japan Open last week and has carried that form into Shanghai.
The Serb's match against John Isner showcased not just his usual machine-like proficiency, but also his determination to grind out a victory.
Despite looking in a bit of trouble early on, Djokovic seized control after breaking Isner at the fag end of the first set. He then rode that momentum to break the tall American again at the beginning of the second set following which he cruised to victory.
However, in Tsitsipas, he will meet a much more versatile player, someone who has a far better return and net game which will certainly come in handy on this fast surface. The Greek star reached the China Open final last week, losing to Dominic Thiem in three sets.
He may not have been very convincing against Hubert Hurkacz in the previous round, but he has the ability to raise his game against the big players.
Moreover, the fact that he has beaten Djokovic in the past will give him tons of confidence going into this match. However, the Serb might just prove too hard to crack on the day.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.