The 23-year-old German, Alexander Zverev lost in the quarter-finals of the AO 2021 in Melbourne against the record winner and defending champion Novak Djokovic from Serbia. With 7:6 (8:6), 2:6, 4:6, 6:7 (6:8), Zverev missed the second semifinal in a row at the Australian Open.
After the match, Zverev said, “it was a great match, but of course, I’m not happy with the result at all.” In the post-match interview, Djokovic said, “it was a great fight, it was a roller coaster ride. Until the last point, either of us could have won the match. It was a great fight and bad luck for Sascha.”
It was a great match to watch. Even though there were doubts about the Djokovic’s fitness initially because of abdominal muscle problems, he did not show any signs of this during the match.
Zverev got off with a better start, and he played with great precision and managed a fast break against Djokovic, who was going for quick point wins. When Djokovic equalized at 5:5, Zverev did not seem too upset about it, but relatively calm and concentrated.
In the second set, Djokovic improved and brought the momentum to his side. He served strongly and dominated the rallies. Zverev was looking for a way out but was struggling initially. After the second set, Zverev found a way to counter Djokovic and pulled away. Djokovic chopped his racket out of anger but found back to calmness afterwards and won the third set. In the fourth set, Zverev retook the lead and had break points to go up 4-0, but Djokovic came back. Even though Zverev gave his best and fought hard, Djokovic had an answer for everything and secured his win in this match.
In the next round, Novak will face the Russian Aslan Karazew and is the match’s clear favourite. Karazev had become the first Grand Slam debutant in professional tennis (since 1968) to advance directly to the semifinals with a 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over struggling Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.