Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

14TH FEBRUARY – 27TH FEBRUARY 2021
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
14TH FEBRUARY – 27TH FEBRUARY 2021
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 27, 2020

Djokovic dismantles Khachanov to meet Monfils

Djokovic 2020

Top seed Novak Djokovic posted his 16th successive victory on Thursday night on Centre Court

Top seed Novak Djokovic eased past Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-2 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and he will next play third seed Gael Monfils who defeated Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3. Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and unseeded Daniel Evans will battle for the other place in the final after both claimed tense victories. Tsitsipas edged past Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4, and British No.1 Evans upset sixth seed Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (9).

Djokovic has now won 19 consecutive matches dating back to last year’s Davis Cup Finals and has won 45 of the 50 sets he has played in that time span. Although he felt that he had to fight against the wind as well as his opponent, he still managed to win in just 66 minutes.

“Well, I think the wind was even stronger today on the court, changing directions all the time,” said the world No.1. “It was really, really tough to get the rhythm for the serve. I wasn’t serving as well as I have in the first two matches in terms of first-serve percentage. But second serve was quite accurate. I used I guess all spots in the boxes, both ends, pretty well.

“I don’t think Karen has played up to par. He knows and he’s capable to play much better than he has tonight. He made a lot of unforced errors, which obviously made my life easier especially in the first set to go up 5-1, two breaks. But I think from my end was a solid, solid performance. I moved well in the defence. I was using the variety, the drop shots, always making him guess what is coming next. That was the goal obviously.”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas 2020
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Monfils, champion this month in Rotterdam and Montpellier, extended his career-best winning streak to 12 matches by defeating Gasquet, and he has now won 24 consecutive sets. He was untroubled in the opening set as he broke to lead 3-2 and again for the set, and an early break in the second set allowed him to maintain his advantage and go on to earn a place in the semi-finals for a third consecutive tournament.

The world No.9 is satisfied with his “solid” tennis, but must now conjure up a plan to take down Djokovic for the first time, having lost all 16 previous matches against the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

“We’ll see, I’m 16 down to Novak, he’s the world No.1, hasn’t lost a match this year, so he’s in really good shape. I’ll have to go in with a new game plan and see how it works out,” said the Frenchman with a smirk.

“Right now I don’t know, but the other 16 times it was the wrong one. Hopefully number 17 will be a good one.”

“We have enjoyed four very entertaining quarter-finals which have produced a further commanding performance from Novak Djokovic, difficult challenges for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniel Evans and a comfortable victory for Gael Monfils,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “We can now look forward to what are certain to be two enthralling semi-finals.”

Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added, “The drama has continued today, with both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniel Evans having to work extremely hard for their victories. It took Stefanos Tsitsipas until the very end to finally gain the upper hand against Jan-Lennard Struff, and well over two hours for Daniel Evans to overcome one of the most successful players of this season, two-time tournament winner Andrey Rublev. Novak Djokovic was magnificent in his defeat of Karen Khachanov, and Gael Monfils continued with the impressive form that has already earned him two titles this month. We are now set for a very exciting final two days of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.”

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, continues until 29th February.

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