Medvedev ends Djokovic win streak to set up Dubai final with Rublev

Daniil Medvedev appears to be back at his best, ending Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten 15-0 start to the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the world No. 1 on Friday.

For the first time since July 2019, Medvedev briefly fell out of the top 10, but he broke into this elite rating bracket again, winning the last 13 matches – within 18 days – and setting up an all-Russian final in Dubai against the reigning champion. Andrei Rublev.

Medvedev lost his last four encounters with Djokovic, who was on a 20-match winning streak dating back to last year’s ATP final.

The 27-year-old is looking to win a third title in as many weeks with trophies in Rotterdam and Doha ahead of Dubai.

“Every time I beat Novak it’s an amazing feeling. He is probably the greatest tennis player of all time,” Medvedev said.

“Each time, it gives you an extra boost of confidence, like, ‘Wow, I was able to beat Novak, I can definitely beat anyone.

Djokovic lamented his 14 unforced errors, twice as many as his opponent, but said he was leaving Dubai with more positives, feeling strong physically after recovering from a torn left hamstring.

His participation in Indian Wells, which begins on March 8, remains in doubt as the Serb, who has not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, is waiting to see if he has been granted a US visa waiver.

“I’m still waiting for news from America,” he said.

“If there is no America, I think I will play on clay. Probably the next tournament will be Monte Carlo. If that’s the case, I’ll take a vacation and prepare.”

One way or another, Djokovic will find out about his chances to play in the US on Monday, when the tournament draw takes place in Indian Wells.

Before the sell-out Dubai, Medvedev opened up a two-break lead, and despite Djokovic slowing him down by playing one of the breaks, the world No. 7 successfully played a 39-minute set on his second attempt.

Djokovic missed several times from the right, which helped Medvedev call for an early break in the second set.

– Rublev “happy” –

Medvedev maintained his lead and earned his first match point with a drop that sent the crowd to their feet.

The former world No. 1 seized her first opportunity to secure a place in the final.

He takes a record 4-2 lead over Rublev in their Saturday clash.

This week, Rublev attempts to successfully defend one of his 12 career titles for the first time.

The second-placed Russian clinched his ticket to the championship game with his first victory in six round-level encounters with Alexander Zverev.

With 39 unforced errors from Zverev’s racquet, it took Rublev six match points to defeat the former US Open finalist 6-3, 7-6 (11/9) in less than two hours.

The pair traded breaks early before Rublev consolidated at 4-2 and the Russian landed a vicious winning right hand to close the first set in 47 minutes.

It was the first set that Rublev took off Zverev at tour level. He was 0-11 in sets against the colliding German.

There were no service breaks in the second set as Zverev kept a match point in the 12th game and scored back-to-back aces to hold on to a 6-all.

The No. 7 seed kept five more match points in the split, but Rublev converted his sixth to reach a second consecutive final in Dubai.

“I am glad that today I was mentally stable, especially in the tie-break, that I was able to be there, to play well,” said Rublev.



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