Danil Medvedev delivery Novak Djokovic First defeat of the season in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship semi-finals.
Djokovic clashed with a 20-game winning streak, taking titles in the ATP Finals at the end of last season and then in Adelaide and the Australian Open in January.
But this time with another fit man, third-placed Medvedev proved to be very strong, taking a 6-4 6-4 win as he chased a third consecutive title.
Djokovic lost four games in a row 2-1 in the opening set and made a lot of mistakes while trying to finish the rallies early.
The world’s number one player put pressure on Medvedev, but the former US Open champion resisted, and a service timeout at the start of the decision was eventually enough.
It was the Russian who would take the citizen Andrey Rublev In the finale, which largely culminated in a series of hilarious exchanges, he said in an in-field interview broadcast by Prime Video: “When you play against Novak, you just have to give your best, we hope he’s not at his best.
“I’m happy that I managed to play at a higher level than him today. I didn’t face a breaking point in the second set but there were a lot of 30-30 duos (games). I managed to stay calm and I’m really happy to be in the final tomorrow.”
Defending champion Rublev survived and lost a dramatic tiebreak in the second set Alexander Zverev 6-3 7-6 (9) in the first semi-final.
Rublev was praised in the same scene a year ago for writing ‘No war please’ into the camera lens, referring to events in Ukraine.
When asked about the situation again, the 25-year-old said, “You can’t pretend nothing is happening because it’s scary. It’s crazy that so many normal citizens suffer, die. This is not easy.
“I hope there will be peace in every country soon. It doesn’t matter where. I hope there will be peace in our countries. I hope there will be peace in other countries where there are currently wars.
“It’s terrible in our time, this generation, things like that can happen.”
British Lloyd Glasspool and Finnish partner Harri Heliovaara made it to the doubles final by beating top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-4 6-2.