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Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev Tips - Djokovic to reach final No.9

  • Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev predictions for Thursday’s Australian Open semifinal match
  • 1st meeting between Novak Djokovic and Aslan Karatsev
  • Djokovic chasing a ninth Australian Open trophy
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Dan Hunter 17 Feb 2021
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Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev Tips

Top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic will take on Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev in the semifinals of the Australian Open on Thursday. While Djokovic’s appearance in the semis is no surprise, Karatsev joins a shortlist of five players (most famous of which is John McEnroe) who reached slam semifinals as a qualifier, and the only one to do so in his slam debut. 

It’s been an incredible journey for the 27-year old world no.114, who had failed on nine occasions previously to qualify for a slam. And while the quality of his quarterfinal win was somewhat diminished because of Grigor Dimitrov’s back injury, Karatsev’s fourth round 5-set victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime was legit and incredible.
All of that said, unfortunately for Karatsev, his inspirational slam run is set to come to an end on Thursday when he faces the eight-time and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

  • Djokovic top seed and world no.1
  • Djokovic chasing a 19th Grand Slam title
  • Karatsev 114 in ATP world rankings 
  • Karatsev 1st ever qualifier to reach semis in debut slam 

Head to Head

Unsurprisingly, Aslan Karatsev and Novak Djokovic have never previously played each other on the ATP tour, or any other tour for that matter. In fact, Djokovic admits before this tournament he had never even heard of Aslan Karatsev. 

The Russian probably isn’t too deterred; he’d never played Grigor Dimitrov, Felix Auger-Aliassime or Diego Schwartzman prior to his slam debut, yet still beat them.

Novak Djokovic Form

Djokovic has had an unusual run to the semifinals. He has dropped sets in every match but one, claimed he had a torn abdominal muscle, yet out served Alexander Zverev, and had a complete psychotic episode on court that saw him pummel his racket into oblivion. 

Djokovic entered his quarterfinal match against Zverev claiming he was in such bad shape that had it not been a slam he would retire. He even lost the first set on a tiebreak, and then proceeded to play his very best tennis, even out-acing the Zverev 23 aces to 21. 

It’s not the first time Djokovic has feigned an injury, but Zverev looked genuinely annoyed when he shook hands at the end of the match and barely acknowledged the winner. 

That ruse won’t work in his semifinal against Karatsev; the Russian qualifier will be focused 100% on his own game and controlling his nerves, but Djokovic won’t need mind games to win, although he might drop another set. 

Aslan Karatsev Form

In an interview during the ATP Cup, Daniil Medvedev described little-known Russian team member Aslan Karatsev as “our secret weapon”, and those words have proved prophetic. Going into this year’s Open, only the most hardcore of tennis fans had heard of the Russian no.4, but that was about to change. 

Karatsev won his first two matches without dropping a set, and then announced himself to tennis fans worldwide with his shock straight-sets win over 8th seed Diego Schwartzman. 

In the fourth round he found himself two sets down against 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, but staged a remarkable comeback to win in five sets. 

In his quarterfinal Karatsev faced former world no.3 Grigor Dimitrov playing as well as he ever has. A nervous Karatsev lost the first set 6-2, only for Lady Luck to intervene in the form of a back strain for Dimitrov. Karatsev went on to win the match 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-2. 

Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev FAQ

When is the Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev match taking place?

Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev takes place at 8:30 PM (AEDT) on Thursday, February 18

Where can I watch a Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev live stream?

Our live streaming calendar shows you where you can watch a Novak Djokovic vs Aslan Karatsev live stream.



While Karatsev’s quarterfinal win over Dimitrov was somewhat tainted by the Bulgarian’s obvious injury, his victories over Schwartzman and Auger-Aliassime were legit. Karatsev is certainly capable of taking a set off Djokovic, as long as he can control his nerves.

I’m picking Djokovic to reach his ninth Australian Open final with a four-set win over a very competitive Karatsev, who I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of.

Best Bet: Djokovic 3-1 Set Betting @275.00 at BetMGM - 1 Unit
Best Bet: 4 Sets Total Sets @220.00 at Caesars (Sport) - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Karatsev Set 2 Winner @300.00 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 1 Unit

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Novak Djokovic v Aslan Karatsev