Novak Djokovic moves on to last four clash with Daniil Medvedev

Novak Djokovic during a match Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic during a match Credit: Alamy

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has progressed to the last four at the Dubai Tennis Championships after beating Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday evening.

Later on, Daniil Medvedev joined him in completing the lineup for the second semi-final of the ATP 500 event.

Djokovic beat the hard-hitting Pole 6-3, 7-5 before commending his opponent’s efforts.

“It was a challenging match as it always is against Hubert. One of the best guys on the Tour, definitely,” Djokovic said during his on-court interview in the wake of the victory.

“Fantastic personality. Very lovable guy, a great relationship with everyone. He’s always respectful. I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

Hurkacz did everything he could to get Djokovic off his game including breaking out some remarkable shots but the Serbian had an answer to just about everything.

Hurkacz came the closest to breaking the match open when he gained a 0/30 lead at 5-4 in the second set on Djokovic’s serve. Yet after serving his way out of difficulty, Djokovic would win the following game to win the match.

“I think he’s got one of the best serves in the game, so in the second set until that 11th game in the second set, I didn’t really have too many chances against his serve,” Djokovic said. “He was winning his service games comfortably. Fortunately for me, I also found the rhythm on my serve throughout the second set and held my serve.

“Love-30 at 5-4 for him, found a couple of good serves, good plays. Really one or two points can always decide [the winner] of matches like this. There’s not much that is separating both players. But I’m really, really glad with the way I played under pressure.”

Medvedev ousted eighth seed Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2 in the day’s last match.

The third seed reeled off the final 21 points of the match in succession to send a message to his Novak Djokovic.

“To win 21 points in a row, I don’t know if that’s my personal record on the ATP Tour,” Medvedev said.

“I managed to hit some lines, I managed to play good. Borna was missing a little bit, but generally happy with my level, I’m happy with the ending of the match for sure.”

Medvedev dismissed any notion that he might be considered a contender with Djokovic still firing.

“I’m playing good right now,” Medvedev said. “But when you play Novak, Novak is always the favourite.”

READ MORE: Alexander Zverev reaches the last four for first time since injury return

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