The two hottest men’s player on tour right now will meet Friday in the Dubai semifinals as Novak Djokovic collides with Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic improved to 15-0 on the season with 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 5 Hubert Hurkacz. The Serb lost just 11 total points on his serve and never faced a break point while breaking the Polish No. 1 twice including one to get to 6-5 in the second and then he serve it out at love, his third love hold of the match.
“It was a challenging match as it always is against Hubert. One of the best guys on the Tour, definitely,” Djokovic told the crowd. “Fantastic personality. Very lovable guy, a great relationship with everyone. He’s always respectful. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”
The 5-time Dubai winner has now won his last 20 matches and he’s now 5-0 against Hurkacz who was just coming off a title last week.
Medvedev won his 12th straight match crushing Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2 taking the last 21 points of the match in the victory.
“To win 21 points in a row, I don’t know if that’s my personal record on the ATP Tour,” Medvedev said to the ATP. “I managed to hit some lines, I managed to play good. Borna was missing a little bit, but generally happy with my level, I’m happy with the ending of the match for sure.”
Djokovic has won nine of 13 tour-level meetings against Medvedev plus winning their most recent meeting at 2023 Adelaide 1 in the semifinals.
“I’m playing good right now,” Medvedev said. “But when you play Novak, Novak is always the favorite.”
Defending champion Andrey Rublev advanced past Botic Van De Zandschulp of Netherlands in two sets 6-3, 7-6(7-3). He’ll now face Alexander Zverev who ousted 27-year-old Italian Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4 to make his first ATP semifinal since the French Open.
“It’s been a very difficult time for me over, I would say, the last nine months,” the German told the crowd. “I haven’t played tennis at all for such a long period for the first time in my life. It definitely shows that the hard work is paying off and I’m extremely happy with my progress and how I’m playing right now.
“I’m happy to be in my first semifinal since the injury. Hopefully it won’t be my last and hopefully there’s much more to come here.”
Zverev has won all five tour-level encounters with Rublev including their last collision in the 2021 Cincinnati Masters final.
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Well I can safely say that that was easily the worst match Djokovic has played against anyone since the 2021 US Open Finals. He came back too quickly. He basically let Medvedev know early on that he didn’t have the proper stamina to get into long rallies today. He tried to end points early constantly and completely played into Medvedevs hands. Horrible match from Djokovic today. Shocking how bad he returned today. Missed 2 second serve returns in a row up 15-30. Medvedev didn’t even serve a high percentage of first serves in.
March 3rd, 2023 at 12:19 pm