Thursday action on courts of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships venue did not bring any upsets, as each of the quarterfinals played today, ended up with the confident straight set win of pre-match favorite.
Alexander Zverev achieved his best result since coming back to play after last year's injury, advancing into his first semifinal of the year. The German routined Lorenzo Sonego 7-5 6-4 under 2 hours of play. Zverev was close to lose an early break in second game of the match, but made a huge hold from being 0-40 down in own service game. Both players were serving well till the 11th game, when Zverev produced 3 breakpoints and earned the decisive break advantage, which gave him the opening set win as a result. Current world's number 16 was almost cliincal in key points today, as he created just one breakpoint in second set, which occured to be decisive for the victory. Zverev was closed to blow away his advantage, while serving for the match in 10th game of second set. The German was 0-40 down, but cleared the danger with brilliant serving and finished the match with the series of 5 points won in a row.
Andrey Rublev will be Zverev's semifinal opponent after defeating Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-3 7-6(3). Despite winning in straight sets, it was quite a nervous match for Rublev. The Russian started well with an early break and 3-0 lead, keeping the advantage till the end of opening set with 6-3 score, after utilizing 4th set point. Rublev was also under control of second set with one break up till the 9th game when he produced 3 matchpoints on the Dutch's serve, but Van De Zandschulp kept alive in the match, winning this game after 4 deuces. Rublev had another chance to close the match in 10th game, but got broken for the score 5-5. Despite wasting his chances earlier, the Russian regained the control in tiebreak, winning 4 points in a row since the score 3-3 and winning the match. Same as for Zverev, it's the first semifinal appearance for Rublev, who played quite a disappointing season so far, even despite the QF made in Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic remains undefeated in 2023, earning his 15th win out of all 15 matches played so far this season. Nole gave no chances for Hubert Hurkacz, winning 6-3 7-5. The Pole was playing well, but did not resist the offensive of world's number one in key moments of the match. Djokovic produced breakpoints in 4th game of first set and 12th game of second one, gaining a break in both, which was enough for confident win. The rest of games throughout whole the match gave no much emotions, with confident holds from both players. It was high quality match though, as Djokovic scored 20 winners to just 7 unforced errors, and Hurkacz presented himself really good as well, scoring positive ratio of 21 winners to 15 unforced errors. The world's number 11 showed some attractive shows during the match, but at the end it was not enough to stop the fabulous series of the Serbian.
Daniil Medvedev will set-up an absolute cracking semifinal line-up, playing tomorrow against Djokovic. Medvedev defeated Borna Coric 6-3 6-2. The Russian had just one moment of weakness after start of second set, facing an early break from Coric, but clicked the gear by winning 6 games in a row since then and scoring his 12th win in a row. Being in such a form, with being undefeated in third tournament in a row so far, showing great confidence of play, very near to the time when he earned his first career's Grand Slam title, Medvedev will be a worthy rival for Djokovic in tomorrow's top clash of the tournament.
Here are the Thursday's highlights: