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Dubai Open: Djokovic reaches second round after third-set tiebreak v qualifier Machac

Novak Djokovic edged out Tomas Machac 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (1) on Tuesday and will face Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor in the next round

Novak Djokovic and Tomas Machac Novak Djokovic and Tomas Machac (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships •Third round • completed
See draw

Serb Novak Djokovic, the top seed, edged out Czech qualifier Tomas Machac 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (1) to advance to the second round of the Dubai Open at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre on Tuesday.

Djokovic, ranked No 1, will face Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor next.

Machac had never played Djokovic before but he certainly gave him a tough test, taking the second set to force a decider, and then falling gallantly only at the tiebreak.

“Credit to him, he did surprise me,” said Djokovic in his press conference afterwards. “Never faced him. I did my analysis of his game and prepared myself well. Credit to him, he went for his shots, especially down the line backhand, serve and volley. He didn’t miss one volley. It was unbelievable. He played on such a high quality. He wasn’t missing at all.

“I had to earn this victory. I played a pretty much perfect tiebreak, some great shots. I found another gear when it mattered.”

Djokovic – who has just broken the record for most weeks ranked as world No 1, male or female – has never lost before the quarter-final stage in Dubai previously.

He is a previous champion here, having won five titles.

Dubai ATP500, other first-round results (Aviation Club Tennis Centre, hard, USD 2.855.495, most recent results first):

  • Alexander Shevchenko vs. Hubert Hurkacz
  • Daniil Medvedev (3) beat Matteo Arnaldi (LL): 6-4, 6-2
  • Alexander Bublik beat Alexandar Lazarov (Q): 6-1, 1-0 ret.
  • Mikael Ymer beat Francesco Passaro (LL): 6-2, 6-3
  • Borna Coric (8) beat Daniel Evans: 2-2 ret.
  • Botic van de Zandschulp beat Karen Khachanov (6): 7-5, 6-2
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime (4) beat Maxime Cressy: 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3
  • Christopher O’Connell (Q) beat Emil Ruusuvuori: 7-5, 6-4
  • Alexander Zverev (7) beat Jiri Lehecka: 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
  • Andrey Rublev (2) beat Filip Krajinovic: 7-5, 6-2
  • Pavel Kotov (Q) beat Alexei Popyrin (WC): 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3)
  • Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Malek Jaziri (WC): 6-2, 6-0
  • Tallon Griekspoor beat Constant Lestienne: 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
  • Lorenzo Sonego beat Marc-Andrea Huesler: 7-5, 6-3
  • Thanasi Kokkinakis (WC) beat Quentin Halys (LL): 6-4, 7-6 (9)
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