All-Russian final in Dubai as Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev triumph
Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are set for their seventh ATP Tour level meeting in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Medvedev produced a stunning performance to upset Novak Djokovic after Rublev had beaten Alexander Zverev.
Medvedev was dialled in from the very first point, coming out the winner 6-4, 6-4.
“When you play against Novak you just have to play your best,” Medvedev said.
“Kind of hope he doesn’t play his best on the day because when he plays his best, well he has 22 Grand Slams, so even if you play your best, it is going to be tough, not sure you win.
“I managed to play a higher level than him today. In the second set I didn’t face one break point, but there were so many 30/30 games. But I managed to stay composed and I am happy to be in the final tomorrow.”
While Medvedev ended Djokovic’s hopes of becoming the first man to complete the Grand Slam since 1969 when he defeated the Serbian in the 2021 US Open final, the top seed entered the semi-final at the ATP 500 in Dubai off the back of four consecutive wins against Medvedev.
However, Medvedev played a close to flawless game and seemed to find a way to consistently win the longer points.
Medvedev was happy to stay deep and bombard Djokovic from the baseline and while the world No 1 tried to serve and volley, he wasn’t able to execute as well as he needed to.
He hasn’t dropped a set all week and Medvedev swept past Matteo Arnaldi, Alexander Bublik and Borna Coric before adding Djokovic’s scalp on Friday.
Medvedev holds a 4-2 lead in the head to head record between himself and Rublev.
Rublev secured his first victory over in six attempts over Alexander Zverev in the other semi-final.
He saved one set point in the second set before triumphing 6-3, 7-6(9) on his sixth match point after 118 minutes on court.
“I was thinking it was going to be a third set. I was preparing mentally for the third set but I somehow saved a set point,” Rublev said.
“I had a couple of match points but he played well but in the end at 9/9, I made a good return and then I said ‘Ok, let’s try to make it here’. I won a crazy rally and I was lucky. It was a super intense tie-break.”
Rublev has a long history with Zverev as he does Medvedev and might take the win over the German as a good omen.
“We are really good friends, we have known each other since 10 or 11 years old. We have been together since juniors,” Rublev said of Zverev.
“He was always like an older brother to me and in all the previous matches he beat me. Today when I was going on court I thought I had nothing to lose. He always beats me, so why need to be tight.”
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