ATP Dubai: Novak Djokovic falls to Daniil Medvedev and suffers first loss
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 5543
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic will not seek his sixth crown in Dubai. Novak experienced a 6-4, 6-4 loss in the semi-final to Daniil Medvedev after an hour and 35 minutes, suffering his first defeat in 2023! Daniil will play for his third ATP title in as many weeks on Saturday, gaining a boost in Rotterdam and carrying it to Doha and Dubai.
The Russian beat the Serb for the fifth time in 14 encounters and the first since that historical 2021 Us Open final. Medvedev took charge in the middle of the first set and broke Djokovic three times. Novak had barely lost serve this season before today's match, but Daniil found the winning formula on the return against the world's best player to build the crucial difference.
The Russian lost serve once while he was already in front in the opener and kept the Serb away from additional break chances. Novak held at love in the encounter's opening game with a volley winner, and Daniil locked the result at 1-1 with a service winner.
Daniil Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Dubai.
World no. 1 produced another hold at love in game three with an ace before facing problems at 2-2. Djokovic squandered a game point and lost an extended rally when his slice hit the net to lose serve and fall 3-2 behind.
Medvedev fired a service winner in the sixth game to confirm the break and forge a 4-2 advantage. Novak lost ground in the seventh game and netted a volley to lose serve for the second time in a row and push the rival 5-2 ahead.
The Serb pulled one break back in game eight to prolong the set and held at love with a service winner in the next one to reduce the deficit to 5-4. Daniil came from 30-15 down in the tenth game and wrapped up the set with a forehand winner for 6-4 in 39 minutes.
Djokovic experienced another setback at the start of the second set, wasting a 40-15 advantage and losing four straight points after a loose backhand to find himself a set and a break down. Medvedev held at love in game two and closed the fourth game after deuce for 3-1.
Novak grabbed the fifth game after deuces, doing his best to remain in touch and waiting for the chances on the return. Daniil stayed calm at deuce in game six and brought it home for a 4-2 lead and another big step toward the finish line.
Djokovic pushed strong on the return again in game eight but failed to earn a break chance, allowing the opponent to bring it home and move 5-3 in front. Novak grabbed the ninth game after deuce to reduce the deficit and force the rival to serve for the victory.
Daniil made no mistakes in the tenth game and created a match point after an incredible winner at the net. The Russian seized it with a forehand winner to celebrate the victory and move into the final.