Novak Djokovic failed to advance into the final in Dubai. Novak beat three rivals before falling to Daniil Medvedev and suffering his first loss in 2023. World no. 1 did not think about it for too much, enjoying a lovely day at the beach with his old friends, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.
Former Davis Cup teammates and long-time friends embraced a relaxed day under the sun and spent quality time, as always when they gather in Belgrade or elsewhere. Novak started his 13th Dubai campaign with a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory over the young Czech Tomas Machac.
Machac bounced back in the second set and claimed it with an early break. Novak moved 4-1 up in the final set before Tomas pulled the break back and extended the battle. It went into a deciding tie break, and Djokovic clinched it 7-1 to seal the deal in his first match following his 22nd Major title in Melbourne.
Novak faced Tallon Griekspoor in the second round and earned a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in an hour and 22 minutes for a place in the last eight.
Novak Djokovic stayed in Dubai following the semi-final loss.
Novak lost serve once while serving for the victory and converted half of the return points into four breaks from 16 opportunities.
Djokovic met Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-final and scored a 6-3, 7-5 victory in an hour and 21 minutes. The Serb defeated the Pole for the fifth time in as many encounters, never facing a break point and stealing the rival’s serve twice to enter the final four for the tenth time in Dubai.
Djokovic broke in the opener’s fourth game on his third break chance and served well for 6-3 in 35 minutes. They stayed neck and neck until 5-5 in the second set. The Pole struggled to find free points with his serve and faced break points in game 11.
He defended four before Novak seized the fifth to open a 6-5 advantage and serve for the victory. Djokovic held at love in game 12 to seal the deal in style. Novak’s perfect start to the season ended in the semi-final following a 6-4, 6-4 loss to an in-form Daniil Medvedev.
The Serb created only one break point in the entire clash and got broken three times to propel the Russian over the top. Medvedev grabbed two consecutive breaks in the opener, forging a 5-2 lead and holding in game ten for 6-4.
Daniil broke again at the start of the second set and produced five holds without facing a break point to emerge at the top and advance into the final. Novak will spend more time off the court in the following weeks, unable to enter the USA and preparing for a return on clay in Monte Carlo.