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Medvedev ends Djokovic’s 20-match win streak to reach Dubai final; plays Rublev for title

Daniil Medvedev showed he’s back to his very best as he upset world No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 on Friday to reach the final of the Dubai Open. The winner in Rotterdam and Doha in the past two weeks, Medvedev broke once in each set and withstood a fight from Djokovic in the second … Continued

Daniil Medvedev, Dubai 2023 Daniil Medvedev, Dubai 2023 | ┬ę AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Daniil Medvedev showed he’s back to his very best as he upset world No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 on Friday to reach the final of the Dubai Open.

The winner in Rotterdam and Doha in the past two weeks, Medvedev broke once in each set and withstood a fight from Djokovic in the second to clinch victory and end the Serb’s 20-match win streak, inflicting his first defeat of the year.

The win – which sets up a final against Andrey Rublev – is Medvedev’s 13th straight win and he’s now 5-9 against Djokovic, the man he beat to win his first and to date only Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2021, denying him the calendar-year Grand Slam in the process.

“When you play against Novak you have to play your best and kind of hope he doesn’t play his best,” Medvedev said. “That’s kind of what happened. I’m happy I managed to play a higher level than him today.”

Novak Djokovic Dubai SF 2023
AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Medvedev had looked better and better with every match in the past two weeks and he began brilliantly, grabbing a break in the first set and forcing a surprising number of errors from Djokovic.

The world No 1 tried to attack throughout but Medvedev was equal to everything and he saved the only break point he faced in the first set to move ahead.

Medvedev breaks early, holds on under pressure

Medvedev knew that Djokovic would come at him in the second set but the Russian grabbed an early break to calm his nerves.

Still Djokovic began to threaten, taking him to deuce in the sixth game only for Medvedev to find some huge serves to stay ahead.

It was the same story two games later as Djokovic threw everything at his opponent. Medvedev chased down a Djokovic drop shot and replied with a drop shot of his own to earn match point and then fired a forehand away for the winner to seal victory and take his place in the Dubai final for the first time.

Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev Dubai 2023
AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Medvedev ready to face Rublev in final

Medvedev and Rublev are good friends on Tour but both men will be going all out for the title on Sunday. Medvedve leads their head to head 4-2 but knows he will be in for a tough battle after Rublev beat Alexander Zverev to make the final.

“He beat me the last two times we played, I think,” Medvedev said. “But I’m looking forward to the final tomorrow.”

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