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Djokovic advances to Dubai quarter-finals with win over Khachanov
Djokovic will take on qualifier Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals at the ATP 500 event in Dubai
World No 1 Novak Djokovic advanced to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Champion with a straight sets win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov on Wednesday evening.
Djokovic broke his Russian opponent’s serve in the fourth game of the match and held on to that break through the rest of the first set to win it 6-3 in 32 minutes. The Serb dropped just five points on his serve and did not face a single break point in the first set.
Khachanov gives Djokovic a tougher time in the second set
In the second set, Djokovic fought off three break points in the fourth game to level the set at 2-2. The 20-time Grand Slam champion went on to break Khachanov in the next game and held his own serve to go up 4-2.
The Russian managed to break back in the eighth game and level the set at 4-4, aided by an untimely double fault from his opponent. Khachanov then saved two break points in his next service game to hold for 5-4.
With both players holding their serve from thereon, the second set went into a tiebreaker. Djokovic proved too strong, winning it 7-2 to complete the 6-3, 7-6 win in one hour and 35 minutes.
Djokovic will meet qualifier Jiri Vesely, who beat last week’s Doha champion and No 8 seed Roberta Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4 in one hour and 18 minutes in another second round match on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, second seed Andrey Rublev overcame the loss of the first set to beat Soonwoo Kown 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, while fourth seed Jannik Sinner defeated former world No 1 Andy Murray 7-5, 6-2. Fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz also advanced, beating lucky loser Alex Molcan 6-3, 6-2 and American Mackenzie McDonald defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 in other second round matches on Wednesday.
With Daniil Medvedev also winning his first round match at the ATP 500 event, Djokovic now needs to reach at least the semi-finals this week in order to keep the race for the top spot alive for this week. Below are the scenarios in which the Russian can become the 28th man to become world No 1 on Monday.
- Medvedev reaches the second round in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the semifinals in Dubai
- Medvedev reaches the quarterfinals in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the semifinals in Dubai
- The Russian reaches the semifinals in Acapulco and Djokovic does not reach the final in Dubai
- Medvedev reaches the final in Acapulco and Djokovic does not win the Dubai title
- The Russian wins the title in Acapulco, irrespective of Djokovic’s results in Dubai