World number one Novak Djokovic will be up against the 48th-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the third round of the 2021 Italian Open on Thursday, May 13. Get the live streaming options of this Novak Djokovic v Alejandro Davidovich Fokina match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Novak Djokovic v Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Head to Head
Djokovic has never played Fokina before this in a competitive encounter.
Djokovic Irritated But Makes it Through
Djokovic came through his second round match but not before the world number one was tested by Taylor Fritz, Rome rain and his own temper.
The Serb required an hour and 38 minutes to carve out a 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Fritz to seal his place in the third round. In a match interrupted by rain, Djokovic was left angry by the decision of the chair umpire to let the match continue despite the continuous drizzle.
And as the players left the court, Djokovic was heard screaming at the umpire for the same.
At that stage, Djokovic had just been broken as he served for the match at 5-4, and the temperamental player lashed out at the umpire.
Later, the world number one came back to win the match in a tie-breaker but his unhappiness during the encounter could have stemmed from the fact his form on clay this season has been anything but good.
At the Monte-Carlo Masters he claimed a win over Jannik Sinner in his opener but lost to Dan Evans in the third round. And he followed that up with a semifinal defeat at the Belgrade Open to Aslan Karatsev, a tournament he would have expected to win at home.
Fokina Shuts Out Norrie
For the fourth time this season, Fokina has won back to back matches in a competition and three of those have come on clay. The previous ones included the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Estoril Open where he reached quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.
Here, having shocked Grigor Dimitrov in the first round in straight sets, Fokina afforded not a lot of chances to Britain’s Cameron Norrie before reaching the third. He won 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 19 minutes to set up his first date with the world number one.
Fokina, who is on his career-best ranking of 48th in the world, exchanged a service break with Norrie across the first five games of the opening set but that was about the time his opponent looked to be a part of the contest.
As soon as Fokina had broken Norrie again in the sixth game, the contest was over as he repeated it once more in that set and then again in the eighth game of the second.
Fokina faced exactly one break-point in the entire second set before carving out his win, his fourth in a row without dropping a set having begun the tournament as a qualifier. Can he now put up a similar fight against Djokovic?
Djokovic v Fokina Prediction and Tip
Djokovic is 1/5 to win this but we expect Fokina to put up more of a challenge than his opponent would like. May be even win a set.