World number one Novak Djokovic will kick-start his new season with a match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner in the 2021 Adelaide Exhibition. This will be played on Friday, January 29, with the match likely to begin at around 1 pm local time (2:30 am BST or 8.30 pm previous day Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Jannik Sinner match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Jannik Sinner Head to Head
Interestingly, Djokovic and Sinner have never played each other before this at any level. This will be their first match and it comes on an Exhibition tour.
Djokovic Aiming for a Solid Start
As years go, Djokovic had a lot going for him despite all the issues around the pandemic but at the same time, he would have expected slightly more in 2020.
He won the Australian Open to signal his intentions about catching up with Federer on 20 Grand Slam titles, to go with the ATP Cup and ATP Dubai competition victories. On resumption, there was a Cincinnati Masters triumph as well but other issues made more news for him.
For starters, Djokovic was involved in the infamous Adria Tour which led to players falling ill due to the coronavirus, he then got defaulted from the US Open and suffered a crushing loss at the hands of Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open.
Djokovic would have loved to end the season on a high but a stunning quarterfinal defeat, 6-1, 6-2, at the Vienna Open and then a bitter semifinal defeat at the ATP Finals to Dominic Thiem meant he would have renewed motivation to pick up where he left and make it a doubly solid 2021 season.
An exhibition match like this should help him get back into rhythm before the start of the ATP Cup where he leads the defending champions Serbia.
Sinner Coming off Sofia Title
It was a mixed season for Sinner in 2020 but he ended it on a high when he added a second ATP title to his kitty by winning the Sofia Open title indoors. Wins over Alex de Minaur, Adrian Mannarino and Vasek Pospisil in that competition meant the 19-year-old will come into the new season not just with a lot of confidence but also ranked at his career-best of 36th in the world.
Sinner didn’t have the best of starts to the last year but he came back strongly in the second half after the resumption following the pandemic.
Following opening round defeats at both, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open, Sinner made it to the third round at Rome – his first instance of back to back wins since Rotterdam in February – before a solid showing at the French Open which would have given him the most confidence.
He defeated Alexander Zverev in the fourth round there before going down fighting to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal, before that win at Sofia.
Djokovic v Sinner Prediction and Tip
Djokovic will be an obvious favourite but don’t discount out Sinner from carving out some solid tennis and even stretching the Serb to a third. An exhibition match makes it tougher to predict but we think this could go into a third set.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)
The 2021 A Day at the Drive will be played on January 29. You can watch all these matches with Channel Nine in Australia or live stream it with 9Now there. In the UK, these matches will be broadcast live on Eurosport Player. Get your latest premium tennis predictions here.