Losing the first set, but Novak Djokovic still won Alexander Zverev 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (8) in the Grand Slam quarter-finals earlier this year on February 16.
Zverev, with an average speed of 208 km / h and good durability, made it difficult for Djokovic throughout the game. But the bravery in important points helped the number one player in the world to overcome his juniors for the ninth time in the Australian Open semi-finals.
Three out of four sets, Djokovic lost the first match game. But in those three sets, the number one player in the world won the game to catch the ball and balance the score. In the first set, Zverev led 5-3 and had a set-point, but failed to take advantage of it and let Djokovic equalize 5-5. Just like last month’s ATP Cup match, the German player won the first tie-break set series 8-6.
It was also Zverev’s only winning set in the match. Going to set two, the seed of the number five lost the first four games in a row. Djokovic won 6-2 in this set, but was trailing 0-3, then 1-4 at the beginning of the third set. He smashed the racquet after a failed left shot and that seemed to relieve the Serbian player. Djokovic then won five games and won the third set with a score of 6-4.
The same scenario was repeated in the fourth set, when Zverev led 3-0 and Djokovic equalized 3-3. By Djokovic’s hinge game, seed number six had two break points but failed to beat his seniors. Zverev had a set-point in game 12, but also missed it. At critical points, Djokovic often serves a good serve and escapes. He saved nine of the 12 break points in the match, while Zverev saved only three of the nine break points.
No one lost the service point in the first 12 points of the tie-break set four series, before Zverev made a mistake. Leading 7-6 and having a second match-point, Djokovic ended the match with his 23rd ace.
During the game, Djokovic serves 73% of the field first. Despite making 56 self-defeating mistakes compared to Zverev’s 38, and scoring fewer points than his juniors in series of durable balls from five or more touches, Djokovic still won 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 7- 6 after three and a half hours of competition. In Melbourne Park, “Nole” has beaten the opponents in the Top 10 11 times in a row.
“A lot of pressure, a lot of anxiety, I’m mentally drained,” said Djokovic after the game. “The game could have gone in a very different direction. Today, we pushed each other to the limit.”
For the second time in two weeks, Djokovic defeated Zverev at the Rod Laver Arena. Earlier this month, he defeated 23-year-old juniors in the ATP Cup with the score 6-7, 6-2, 7-5. Djokovic spent 13 sets for his last three rounds at the Australian Open. In the semi-finals, he will meet the phenomenon of the tournament, Aslan Karatsev – the first person in the Open Era to reach the Grand Slam semi-finals at the first time.