Djokovic dismantles Khachanov to reach Dubai semi-finals

Four-time Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winner Novak Djokovic once again ended the hopes of Karen Khachanov to progress to the semi-finals.

The newly crowned Australian Open Champion had previously defeated Khachanov in Serbia’s Davis Cup meeting with Russia and was in no mood to allow any revenge, winning 6-2, 6-2.

“I’m definitely feeling well and playing really well,” said Djokovic after his victory. “I like playing night session tennis, conditions are quite different than during the day and obviously last couple of days there has been quite a lot of wind. It is pretty swirly on the court and not easy to find any rhythm on serve and also groundstrokes in these conditions.

“It was a tough match for Karen, I think he can do much better than he has done tonight and it wasn’t his day but on my side I think I played a very solid match.”

Resplendent in his lucky green Lacoste outfit, Djokovic gained the early break in the fourth game of the opening set thanks to some wayward Khachanov hitting and a huge forehand return down the line.

Instantaneously finding the form that took him back to World No.1, Djokovic raced to a 4-1 lead in only 15 minutes, mixing accurate groundstrokes with delicate slices and drops.

Former top ten player Khachanov is a fearsome competitor himself, but one had to feel a little sorry for his predicament as few can live with Djokovic when he’s in this kind of mood. The Russian showed fight at the end of the set, breaking back with Djokovic serving at 5-1 but it was brief respite, the set gone in little over half an hour.

At least Khachanov had given Djokovic something of a workout in Spain and actually beaten him in the 2018 Paris Masters. On this occasion, it was more like an exhibition, Djokovic toying with his opponent at times en route to an emphatic win.

Next up for the seemingly unstoppable Serb is a semi final meeting with either Frenchmen Gael Monfils.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Level: ATP 500

Surface: Hard

Defending Champion: Roger Federer

Prize Money: $2.9

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