Novak Djokovic loses a match in which he manages to exploit only five of the twenty-eight break points available at the ATP Belgrade semifinal 2021. Novak Djokovic loses a match that almost lives a life of its own for three hours and twenty-six minutes.
After the outings with Soon-woo Kwon and Miomir Kecmanovic, the number one of the seeding loses against Aslan Karatsev. The same Karatsev who, in the semi-final on the blue of Melbourne Park, a handful of months ago, had collected the misery of nine games.
The Russian not only plays a giant game but above all has the great merit of always, always, stuck to the score. So much when he seems one step away from the finish line, so much when he seems one step away from the brink.
In a challenge that from a genuinely technical point of view only takes off on the sunset of the second set - moment in which the Serbian champion breaks the balance with three scary winners - Karatsev stoically manages not to be influenced when he has the first match point on the ropes and especially to buffer the almost desperate situation of 15-40 that is created in the final.
Karatsev won 7-5 4-6 6-4: waiting for the Russian in the final, the second in his career, will be Matteo Berrettini, who defeated Taro Daniel in the other semifinal for 6-1 6 (5) -7 6- 0.