World no. 1 Novak Djokovic is 15-0 in 2023! The Serb is through into the last four in Dubai for the tenth time from 13 trips to the desert, remaining on the title course and seeking his third title of the season. Novak met Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-final and scored a 6-3, 7-5 triumph in an hour and 21 minutes.
The Serb defeated the Pole for the fifth time in as many encounters, never facing a break point and stealing the rival's serve twice to emerge at the top and enter the final four. Novak made the difference with the second serve in the opening set, producing five comfortable holds and waiting for a chance on the return.
It came in the fourth game when he seized the third opportunity to gain a crucial advantage. Djokovic grabbed the encounter's first game with a service winner, and Hurkacz responded with a booming serve in game two for 1-1.
Novak Djokovic defeated Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets in Dubai.
Novak moved 2-1 ahead with a forehand crosscourt winner in game three and pushed strong on the return in the next one. Hubert sprayed a backhand error and faced three break points.
The Serb converted the third after forcing the Pole's mistake and forged a 3-1 advantage. Djokovic held at 30 in the fifth game to cement the advantage and repeated that two games later for 5-2. Hubert served to stay in the set in game nine and held at 15 to prolong his chances.
However, Novak sealed the set with an ace in game nine for 6-3 in 35 minutes. Hurkacz kicked off the second set with a hold at love with a forehand winner, and Djokovic followed that pace with a service winner in game two.
There was nothing to separate them in the following games, with both players dominating their service games. Novak held at 15 in game six for 3-3, and Hubert built another lead with a powerful serve a few minutes later. Djokovic held at 30 in game ten to lock the result at 5-5, and the pressure was back on Hurkacz.
The Pole struggled to find free points with his serve and faced break points. He defended four, and Novak seized the fifth to open a 6-5 advantage and serve for the victory. Djokovic held at love in game 12 to seal the deal in style and move into the last four.
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