Daniil Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in today's semifinal of the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championsips. The Russian stopped Nole's unbeaten run in 2023, after 15 wins in a row scored by Djokovic in this year so far.
If anyone could think about upsetting the Serbian at recent time, it was only Medvedev, as the US Open 2021 champion approached this hit clash with a strike of 12 wins in a row, looking for the third back-to-back title in the time of three weeks. The match which was a duel between two best in-form players in the form right now got unexpected turn of events though, as Djokovic was clearly outplayed by Medvedev, who advanced into Dubai's final after shockingly dominant win 6-4 6-4 in just 96 minutes.
Medvedev was putting the instant pressure of Djokovic, who is assumed to be the best player in the world in terms of defensive skills. The consistency of Serbian was also not there today, as he made many errors during key points, looking like trying to overpower his opponent which did not work out today. Current world's number 7 scored a brilliant ratio 27 winners to just 7 unforced errors. The Russian was happy with his performance in the post-match interview: “When you play against Novak you just have to play your best. It is always the hope that he does not play his best on the day because when he plays his best, well he has 22 Grand Slams, so even if you play your best, it is going to be tough, not sure you win. I managed to play a higher level than him today. In the second set I didn’t face one break point, but there were so many 30-30 games. But I managed to stay composed and I am happy to be in the final tomorrow.”
Andrey Rublev will play against his fellowcountry in tomorrow's final after defeating Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(9). It was Zverev who was rated higher in terms of pre-match chances, with an average odd 1.70, but Rublev started the match much better, winning first set 6-3 after breaking his opponent 3 times. Second set was much more consistent in terms of serving performance from both players, as no breakpoints appeared until 12th game, when Rublev faced a first chance to close the match within Zverev's serve. The German cleared out this danger and forced the tiebreak. The world's number 6 was on the front foot from the start, moving into minibreak lead, but needed as many as 5 matchpoints (and 6 in general) to cross the line with a score 11-9 in a tiebreak. Zverev had a even a setpoint during Rublev's serve on score 8-7, but the Russian held his nerves and made it into final.
Interestingly, it was the first Rublev's win in duels with Zverev since the junior competitions in 2013. “We are really good friends, we have known each other since 10 or 11 years old. We have been together since juniors. He was always like an older brother to me and in all the previous matches he beat me. Today when I was going on court I thought I had nothing to lose. He always beats me, so why need to be tight.” - said Rublev in the post-match interview, who will try to defend his last year's Dubai crown in tomorrow's final against in-form and favorized Medvedev.
Here are the semifinals highlights: