World no. 1 Novak Djokovic has won the opening set against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final in Dubai, moving closer to the fifth title in the desert. The Serb prevailed with a single break in game eight for a 6-3 after 39 minutes, fending off a break chance for Stefanos at 2-2 and playing better in the rest of the set to grab the first part of the encounter.
Novak forced an error from Stefanos in the first point of the match, missing a smash but securing the game after a deuce following a forehand error from the Greek. The youngster fired three winners in the second game to get his name on the scoreboard and make a strong start, a much-needed factor in such big matches against the rivals from the top.
Djokovic closed the third game thanks to a forehand error from Stefanos who locked the fourth game with a forehand winner and an ace down the T line to level the score at 2-2. The fifth game saw another deuce on Novak's serve after a forehand mistake spraying another one to offer the first break chance to Tsitsipas.
Djokovic repelled it with a well-constructed attack and brought the game home thanks to a forehand error from the rival to open a 3-2 gap. Taming his shots nicely, the last year's finalist grabbed the sixth game after a service winner and the one from the backhand, passing the first part of the set without any troubles.
Novak secured the seventh game with a service winner and created the first break chance in the next one when Tsitsipas sent a backhand wide, passing the youngster with a brilliant backhand crosscourt winner to seize the break and move 5-3 in front.
Serving for the set, the Serb landed a backhand winner to secure the opener in 39 minutes, running a set away from the fifth Dubai crown and the first since 2013, not playing in the desert that often in recent years.