Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic
It wouldn’t be hard to see the 2018 Men’s Singles season as the year that Novak Djokovic finally managed to come back to the top of the tennis world. After spending almost the entirety of 2017 in a tough struggle, the Serbian bounced back to claim Wimbledon and the US Open as his own.
The Serbian was angry, passionate and fantastic. There was nothing more you could ask for if you are either a Djokovic fan or a lover of redemption stories. The second half of the year is painted Novak, and the Serbian superstar will be hoping to paint the Shanghai Masters 2018 in his colours as well.
However, his upcoming match will be far from easy. Alexander Zverev is enjoying a fantastic professional career. He has already enjoyed a fantastic career, making the top five in only five years after his 2013 debut. The young German will be the perfect opponent for Novak.
A spot at the final is at stake in this match, and I don’t think either player will want to trip here after coming so far in the contest. Which player will triumph and advance to the final? Let’s find out.
It’s no secret to tennis fans that it took quite a while for Djokovic to rediscover his winning ways and get back to the winning column.
He started the year with a Round-Of-16 exit to young Korean star Hyeon Chung in the Australian Open. He also made quick exits at Indian Wells and Miami. He also left Monte Carlo at the Round of 16. He fared better in Paris but was crushed Marco Cecchinato in the quarter-finals.
It was from that point on that Djokovic got rejuvenated and started playing better tennis once more. He reached the finals of the Fever-Tree Championships and narrowly lost to Marin Cilic. He then won Wimbledon in convincing fashion, the highlight of which was an unforgettable battle with Rafael Nadal.
While he stumbled during the Rogers Cup, he bounced back to beat Roger Federer at the Cincinnati Open. He also crushed his competition in the US Open as he won this matches from the third round onwards without losing a single set.
With Djokovic at top shape, it is not hard to imagine him actually winning the entire thing on his own. Given the way he has been wearing his heart on his sleeves with his every serve and stroke, it is not hard to see why Djokovic winning here is very likely Shanghai Masters 2018 news.
It’s not like his opponent is a pushover, though. Alexander Zverev is having a brilliant 2017 and 2018, and the young German’s serve-and-volley preference has shot him up the rankings. He is the youngest among the ATP Top Ten at 21. The second-youngest at the ranking is Dominic Thiem at 25. I think that says a lot about his talents as a player.
Zverev hasn’t had a great year if you put his results beside Djokovic’s. While he did win the Madrid Open, he flopped in all of the year’s Majors sans Roland Garros. While he did win the Citi Open in Washington, he fell flat at the Rogers Cup, the Cincinnati Open and the US Open.
That still doesn’t take away from his supreme talent, however. His quarter-final duel with Kyle Edmund was thought to be a tough test for him, but he was able to easily cruise past the 23-year-old Briton. His 6-4 6-4 win should propel him to perform better against the Serbian a decade his senior.
The fact that Zverev is hungry for victory should also work well for him. The German wants to compete with Federer and Djokovic for trophies and is putting in work to make that happen. Such an attitude means good things on the court, and he will be a tough match-up for Djokovic.
These two haven’t played each other much as Zverev’s career is still at its toddler years in comparison to Djokovic. However, they have traded shots in Rome last year.
The 2017 Rome Masters final was between the two men, and Zverev easily crushed the Serbian, 6-4 6-3. The German brought a lot of joy to us fans who took the risk, as he scored seven service aces and won a good deal of return points.
However, it is important to note that this match happened in the time that Djokovic was still struggling with his health and overall form. It was understandable that the Serbian was not himself this game and uncharacteristically lost to Zverev, a player that thrives on clay.
It is also interesting to note that these two men are on a bit of a streak. Zverev has won six straight sets while Djokovic has maintained an unbelievable 21-set winning streak since the US Open’s Round of 32. Both will surely want to keep their streak going and play hard.
What are the odds?
The Shanghai Masters 2018 odds understandably favour Djokovic as the big favourite to win the match. With his Money Line odds at 1.35 and -1.50 Asian Handicap for 2.02, even the bookies cannot deny Djokovic’s supreme form and skill as a player.
However, it’s also not a bad idea to put your money in Zverev. The First Set Asian Handicap market backs Zverev at 2.63 with Draw No Bet. Take this route if you think the German will be able to catch his Serbian opponent unawares in the opening set. Money Line odds of 3.12 are also tempting if you believe that this tournament is for Zverev to lose.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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