Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Dubai, UAE – March 3, 2023: In-form Daniil Medvedev remains on-track to seal a third consecutive ATP Tour title after eclipsing World No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Looking to add Dubai glory to recent triumphs in Rotterdam and Doha, Medvedev made the most of a surprisingly out-of-sorts display by the 22-time Grand Slam winner to reach his first Dubai final, where he will face Andrey Rublev, a 6-3, 7-6 victor over Alexander Zverev earlier in the evening.
With an expectant Centre Court full to the rafters when Djokovic, the tournament’s top seed, strode into Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium chasing a seventh final in the emirate, the contest’s early throes progressed on serve as both players felt each other out in sharing the first four games.
Medvedev, however, capitalised on a string of uncharacteristic Djokovic mistakes in the middle of the set to break the World No.1 twice in quick succession. And while Djokovic broke back in game eight, and held serve in game nine, the 27-year-old Medvedev served out to seal the opening set 6-4 in 39 minutes.
After gifting Medvedev 16 points through unforced errors in the first set, Djokovic was unable to turn the tide at the start of the second set with Medvedev, the World No.7, immediately breaking the five-time Dubai winner to maintain his momentum.
As mistakes continued to plague the 35-year-old Serbian’s comeback attempt, Djokovic, who desperately changed his racket in an attempt to curtail the litany of errors, cut a frustrated figure as the relentless stream of overhit groundstrokes and under-hit dropshots left Medvedev in a position to serve out the match at 5-3. The big-serving third seed, now on a 13-match winning streak going into the final, duly obliged.
“When you play against Novak you have to play your best and hope he doesn’t play his best,” Medvedev said. “When he plays his best, with 22 Grand Slam wins, you can play your best and not win, so I’m happy I managed to play a higher level than him today. I didn’t face a breakpoint in the second set, but there were so many 30-all and deuce-games, and I am really happy to be in the final tomorrow. I am playing good right now. I need to be at my best tomorrow. [Rublev] beat me the last two games – both tough battles – so I am looking forward to the final.”
Cressy and Martin complete Doubles final line-up
Fabrice Martin and Maxime CressyAfter the drama of Djokovic’s singles exit, a shell-shocked Centre Court witnessed the USA’s Maxime Cressy and France’s Fabrice Martin reach the ATP500 doubles final courtesy of a 5-7, 7-6, 10-7 victory over Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen – the all-Belgian surprise package who reached the semi-finals after being promoted to the opening round as lucky losers. Cressy and Martin will play Lloyd Glasspool of the UK and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara, who downed Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, 6-4, 6-2, early in the evening on Centre Court.