World number one Novak Djokovic will finally take to court for his first ATP match since the sport went into a lockdown as he takes on Ricardas Berankis in the second round of the Western & Southern Open 2020. This match will be played on Monday, August 24 with the match timing to be decided soon. Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Ricardas Berankis match along with its preview, head to head and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Ricardas Berankis Head to Head
This will be the second time Djokovic and Berankis will be playing each other. On the first occasion, at the 2013 US Open, Djokovic ran away a straight set winner in the first round of that tournament.
Djokovic Has Had a Lot to Chew Off Court
Some of the top players in the world have not featured in too much, if any, tennis during the pandemic break. Others have played a few exhibition matches.
And there have been some, like Djokovic, who have organised a tennis tournament and then gotten panned for those methods in the time of such a pandemic. Djokovic had earlier admitted he had made a mistake in the way things went with the Adria Tour where players went on to test positive for the virus but more recently has called the criticism he received bit of a witch-hunt.
On the court, however, Djokovic couldn’t be any less bothered. He is yet to lose an ATP match this year, having participated in three tournaments and won every single match in them. At the ATP Cup he won six singles matches and followed it up with 12 more at the Australian Open and the ATP Dubai competition.
In the process, Djokovic has beaten Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and some of the other such big-ticket names. Sure, there will be some rustiness coming back but the on-court champion that Djokovic is, he should be able to swat most of that away.
Berankis, a Pune Open Semifinalist
After losing in the first round in Doha, Berankis made it to the second round at the Australian Open before putting up his best showing of the season. It came at the Pune Open where he made it to the semifinal before losing in three tie-breakers to Jiri Vesely.
During the pandemic break, Berankis played in the Eastern European Championship where he won seven of the nine matches he participated in and that looked like it had given him enough confidence for this tournament in New York. An easy win over Alejandro Fokina was followed by a final set tie-breaker against Yasutaka Uchiyama which he edged out as well to move into the main round.
And then the 72nd-ranked Berankis overcame the loss of the first set against Tommy Paul to carve out a close win against him as well to set up this meeting.
Novak Djokovic v Ricardas Berankis Prediction & Tip
Unfortunately this is where we think Berankis’ run in the tournament will end. Djokovic might exhibit some initial rustiness but other than that should be a smooth sailing for the world number one.
Tip: First Djokovic Service Game – To Win To 0 or 15 – NO: 5/4 (bet365)