ATP Tour: Novak Djokovic’s winning start to 2023 ends with semi-final loss to Daniil Medvedev in Dubai | Tennis news

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World number one Novak Djokovic ended his unbeaten start to 2023 with a semi-final loss to Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Djokovic opened the year ahead of the Australian Open by winning the Adelaide International where he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his 22nd Grand Slam title, the Serb had a 15-0 record before facing Medvedev in 2023.

In a contest where the players snapped their early season winning streaks, Medvedev, who had won his previous 12 matches, broke the error-prone Djokovic twice to seal the first set. with the palm of his hand.

Djokovic, playing in his first tournament since winning Melbourne, looked a better player after going down 2-5 in the first set, but dropped his serve again in the second set after a long return.

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Daniil Medvedev is now on a 13-game winning streak

Medvedev then cruised to a 6-4 6-4 victory in one hour and 55 minutes, his 13th in a row in straight sets and his fifth win over Djokovic in 14 meetings.

Rublev won Zverev’s first Dubai final

Medvedev will now face defending champion Andrei Rublev, who defeated Alexander Zverev in straight sets to reach the final.

Andrei Rublev celebrates his victory over Germany's Alexander Zverev in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, March 3, 2023.  (AP Photo/Kamran Jabreili)
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Andrey Rublev wants to win the tournament for the second year in a row

Rublev, who saved five match points against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina earlier this week, has not lost a set in his last five meetings against Zverev.

Dubai wonder Rublev saved a set point in the second set to win the sixth match 6-3 7-6 (11-9) after one hour and 58 minutes.

“Today when I stepped on the court I thought I had nothing to lose,” said Rublev. “He always beats me!”

Rublev, who defeated Jiri Vesely in last year’s final, is aiming to join Roger Federer and Djokovic as the only players to successfully defend the Dubai title.

Sky Sports

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