World No 1, Novak Djokovic suffered his first defeat since November as Daniil Medvedev sent him packing in Dubai yesterday afternoon.
The world No 7 downed the top seed 6-4 6-4 in just an hour and 35 minutes as Djokovic struggled with many uncharacteristic errors and seemed out of sorts throughout the match. It also marks the Serb’s first defeat this year, while Medvedev extended his own winning streak to 13 matches. Djokovic hasn’t lost any match since that Paris final loss against Rune last year, until today.
Djokovic and Medvedev were facing off for the 14th time in a mouthwatering semi-final, both coming into the clash on form, having won two titles each so far this season already with the Serb’s last defeat coming in November while the world No 7 had not lost since a third-round exit at the Australian Open in January. Medvedev only committed 12 unforced errors in comparison to Djokovic’s 38 as he secured a straight sets victory.
The Russian has now reached his third consecutive ATP final after claiming the title in both Rotterdam and Doha and is looking to capture not only his third title in the space of three weeks but also an 18th career tour-level title.
In his way is compatriot, Andrey Rublev, who defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6(9) yesterday, booking his spot in the final. It was Rublev’s first win over the German in six attempts as he looks to successfully defend his Dubai title. Rublev will be looking to win a sixth ATP 500 title and a 13th ATP title when he takes on Medvedev.
It will be the sixth time the pair will meet with Medvedev leading the head-to-head, 4-2.