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Medvedev Ends Djokovic Winning Streak, Faces Rublev In Dubai Final

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Daniil Medvedev appears to have returned to his best form as he ended Novak Djokovic’s undefeated 15-0 start to the season with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over the world number one on Friday.

After briefly dropping outside the top 10 for the first time since July 2019, Medvedev has stormed back into that elite ranking bracket, winning his last 13 matches – within an 18-day period – to set up an all-Russian Dubai final against defending champion Andrey Rublev.

Medvedev had lost his last four meetings with Djokovic, who was on a 20-match win streak stretching back to last year’s ATP Finals, coming into the contest.

The 27-year-old is looking to win a third title in as many weeks, having picked up trophies in Rotterdam and Doha in the build-up to Dubai.

“Every time I beat Novak is an amazing feeling. He’s probably the greatest tennis player of all time,” said Medvedev.

“Every time it gives you an extra boost of confidence, like, ‘Wow, I was able to beat Novak, I can for sure beat anybody’.”

Djokovic lamented his 14 unforced errors, twice as many as his opponent, but said he walks away from Dubai with lots of positives, feeling strong physically after recovering from a tear in his left hamstring.

His participation at Indian Wells which starts on March 8 remains in doubt as the Serb, who has not been vaccinated against coronavirus, waits to hear if he has been granted a visa waiver to the US.

“I’m still waiting for the news from America,” he said.

“If there’s no America, I guess I’ll play clay. Monte Carlo is probably the next tournament. If that’s the case, I’ll take some time off, I’ll prepare.”

Djokovic will know one way or the other on his chances of playing in the United States on Monday when the draw for the Indian Wells event takes place.

In front of a full house in Dubai, Medvedev opened up a double-break lead and despite Djokovic slowing him down by getting one of the breaks back, the world number seven successfully served out the 39-minute set on his second attempt.

Djokovic repeatedly overhit his forehand, which helped Medvedev claim an early break in the second set.


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