Novak Djokovic vs. Hubert Hurkacz - Who has the edge?

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Novak Djokovic vs. Hubert Hurkacz - Who has the edge?
Novak Djokovic vs. Hubert Hurkacz - Who has the edge?

Novak Djokovic and Hubert Hurkacz are the opponents in the quarter-final round in Dubai. The Serb is seeking his fifth victory against the Pole from as many encounters, never losing to Hurkacz. Novak should be the favorite, winning every match in 2023 and playing well in the second round yesterday.

The Serb will seek return chances against the rival who claimed an indoor title last Sunday and made a nice transition to an outdoor court. Novak and Hubert met for the first time at the 2019 Roland Garros. The Serb claimed a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 36 minutes for his 22nd consecutive victory at Majors.

Djokovic barely lost a point behind his serve and kept the pressure on the other side. Hubert broke Novak once and dropped half of the points in his games. The Serb grabbed five breaks from eight opportunities to control the scoreboard and move into the next round.

Their second duel came a few weeks later at Wimbledon, and Hurkacz fought much harder than in Paris.

Novak Djokovic is seeking his fifth victory over Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai.

Novak prevailed 7-5, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4 in three hours to advance into the fourth round for the 12th time at the All England Club.

Djokovic had to dig deep in the opening two sets before finding his rhythm in the third. Novak struggled to find the pace on his forehand, scoring only one break in sets one and two before shifting into a higher gear. Djokovic never lost serve and mounted the pressure on Hurkacz, who endured it only in the first part of the match.

They had a similar number of winners and unforced errors, and Novak forged the advantage after that intense second set. He delivered one easy hold after another in sets three and four to seal the deal and move into the next round.

Hurkacz pushed Djokovic to the limits in their third duel in the 2021 Paris Masters semi-final. The Serb scored a tight 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 victory in two hours and 17 minutes for a place in his 54th Masters 1000 final. Djokovic raised his level after the opening set to secure a bagel in set number two and gain momentum ahead of the decider.

Hubert saved a match point at 4-5 in the final set to reach a tie break and fell 7-5 to propel Novak into the final. The Serb dropped serve twice from three chances offered to the Pole and delivered four breaks from 12 opportunities, mainly in the second set when he was the dominant figure.

Djokovic did not play at his best, but it was enough to cross the finish line first after having the upper hand in the mid-range rallies between five and eight strokes. Novak and Hubert embraced their fourth clash in Madrid last spring, with the Serb earning a 6-3, 6-4 victory in an hour and 21 minutes for a place in the semis.

Djokovic tamed his strokes nicely and kept the pressure on the other side. The Serb dropped 13 points in ten service games, never facing a break point and challenging the Pole to repeat that. Hurkacz made too many errors and failed to follow the rival's pace, struggling on the second serve and getting broken once in each set to propel world no. 1 through.

Novak Djokovic Hubert Hurkacz

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