ATP Tour: Novak Djokovic’s winning start to 2023 ended with semi-final loss to Daniil Medvedev in Dubai | Tennis News

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has seen his unbeaten start to 2023 ended by a semi-final loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Djokovic opened the year by winning the Adelaide International event ahead of the Australian Open, where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim a record 22nd Grand Slam title, with the Serbian holding a 15-0 record in 2023 ahead of his showdown with Medvedev.

In a contest where the players put their early-season win streaks on the line, Medvedev – who had won his previous 12 matches – drew first blood by breaking an error-prone Djokovic twice and closed out the first set with a searing forehand.

Djokovic, playing his first tournament since his Melbourne victory, looked the better player after falling 2-5 down in the opening set but he dropped his serve again early in the second after hitting a return long.

Daniil Medvedev reacts after he got a point against Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their semi final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Daniil Medvedev is now on a 13-match winning streak

Medvedev then served out a 6-4 6-4 win in one hour and 55 minutes, with his straight-sets success his 13th consecutive victory and his fifth win over Djokovic from 14 meetings.

Rublev earns maiden Zverev win to reach Dubai final

Medvedev will now face defending champion Andrey Rublev, who advanced to the final earlier in the day after beating Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

Andrey Rublev celebrates after he beats Germany's Alexander Zverev during their semi final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, March 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Andrey Rublev is looking to win the tournament for a second year running

Rublev, who saved five match points earlier this week against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, had not won a set in his five previous meetings against Zverev.

A clean-hitting performance in Dubai saw Rublev flip the script, saving one set point in the second set to triumph 6-3 7-6 (11-9) on the sixth match point and after one hour and 58 minutes.

“Today when I was going on court I was thinking I have nothing to lose,” Rublev said. “He always beats me!”

Rublev, who defeated Jiri Vesely in last year’s final, is looking to join Roger Federer and Djokovic as the only players to successfully defend the Dubai title.

Source Link

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.