Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks ahead to the latest in tennis. Today, Charles Blouin-Gascon previews day 14 of the 2021 Australian Open.
Have you watched all 1,000 hours?
Come on, be honest. Have you watched all 1,000 hours of tennis over the past two weeks of the Australian Open?
In the days and weeks leading up to this year’s event, tournament organizers and, really, like, television providers set it up so that every single match of the tournament would be streamed online. That’s what the New York Times reported.
Seriously. In the middle of a pandemic, every match of the first Grand Slam of this new season was available for streaming online. The same stipulations as usual remained, of course, and you needed maybe a cable subscription to watch the tennis, etc., etc. And if you did, well then every single match played on every single court was there for the watching.
It’s a nice initiative, doubly so given that we’re living in a pandemic and everyone—or maybe—is in confinement. It just makes it a little difficult to follow the ensuing decision to allow fans inside the stadium for the duration of the event. Money rules the world, I guess.
So please, let us know in the comments how many of the 1,000+ hours you managed to watch over the past two weeks. In any case, if we started with 1,000 hours we’re down to something like up to seven hours left.
Men’s final prediction
You can read our prediction for this men’s final below. As always, if you’re looking for the full day 14 schedule, simply click here.
Rod Laver Arena: Daniil Medvedev  vs Novak Djokovic  (Not before 7:30pm AEDT)
Welcome to the 2021 Australian Open men’s final, where both players can feel confident about their chances to life the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. Of course, this isn’t the same as saying that both players are the same.
Why should you pick Novak Djokovic?
One the one hand, Novak Djokovic plays the role of the wily veteran, the one who’s been here before eight different times already. Djokovic plays the role of the great champion who’s back to defend what’s seemingly become his birthright, namely to start the new tennis season with a Grand Slam title in Melbourne. On the one hand, you have one of the handful few best players of all time who’s also quite likely the greatest returner the sport has ever seen. On the one hand, you have the one player who’s been at the centre of just about every central thing in men’s tennis over the past decade.
Why should you pick Daniil Medvedev?
On the other side stands Daniil Medvedev, the young upstart who’s ready to crash the party. The Russian plays the role of the young would-be king who’s just entering his prime and who’s thirsty for blood—of the proverbial kind, of course. Medvedev plays the role of the tall-as-hell contender who’s better equipped than anyone who came before him to take on and destroy the ruling class of the Big 3. He’s the man who’s split the last 6 Masters 1000 titles (with his opponent, as fate would have it) and who’s won three of their previous four encounters. He’s the man who wants to avenge his heartbreaking loss in the 2019 US Open final, where he came as close as possible to win without actually winning against Rafael Nadal.
Time for our prediction
It won’t be easy but somehow Djokovic will get to No. 9 down under. The Serb gets the win in five gruelling sets.
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