DDF Tennis: Djokovic into quarters, Rublev saves 5 match factors in win

Novak Djokovic beat Tallon Griekspoor in straight units to maneuver into the quarter-finals in Dubai. AP

Dubai: Novak Djokovic is hoping the Paris 2024 Video games will likely be his most profitable Olympics to this point, as he continues to chase the gold medal that has thus far eluded him.

After notching a formidable straight-sets victory over Dutch world quantity 39 Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday to succeed in his thirteenth Dubai quarter-final in as many appearances, Djokovic spoke about his ambitions for the Olympic Video games subsequent 12 months.

“I hope that I’ll have the ability to play wholesome for subsequent 12 months’s Paris Olympics,” mentioned Djokovic, whose greatest displaying on the Video games thus far got here in 2008 when he received bronze in singles.

“It’s going to be performed on clay at Roland Garros, I’m aware of these grounds, so I hope that the very best Olympic consequence for me will come there.”

Two of Djokovic’s 22 Grand Slam titles have come at Roland Garros, in 2016 and 2021.

With a much more simple show in comparison with his opening spherical in Dubai, Djokovic prolonged his undefeated run this season to 14-0 – and his general profitable streak to 19 matches – with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Griekspoor, who is among the most improved gamers on tour these previous two months.

It was a clear efficiency from Djokovic, who dropped simply two factors behind his first serve and fired 29 winners towards a mere six unforced errors.

“It’s been an amazing night for me tonight. Yesterday I actually needed to work laborious to get a win,” mentioned five-time Dubai champion Djokovic, who squeezed previous world No.130 Tomas Machac with a third-set tiebreak victory within the first spherical.

“Tonight I believe proper from the blocks, from the start I used to be sharp.”

Djokovic broke at first of the match earlier than play was interrupted resulting from gentle rain. The transient delay did nothing to disrupt the highest seed’s rhythm although, as he comfortably scooped the opening set in 34 minutes.

The 35-year-old leapt to a 3-0 lead within the second set however needed to battle by a marathon 16-minute recreation to make it 4-0.

Djokovic was damaged on his first try at serving out the match however he recovered instantly, enhancing to 2-0 head-to-head towards Griekspoor with a one-hour 21-minute victory.

‘Christmas presents’

Djokovic will subsequent sq. off with weekend Marseille champion Hubert Hurkacz for a spot within the semi-finals.

Andrey Rublev thought he had run out of additional lives when he stared down 5 consecutive match factors within the second-set tiebreak towards Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

However the Russian managed to rally again from 1-6 down within the breaker to power a decider, then squeezed previous Davidovich Fokina 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) to maintain his title Dubai title defence alive.

It was the third time this season that Rublev has saved match factors en path to victory, having additionally finished so towards Holger Rune within the Australian Open fourth spherical and towards Griekspoor in Doha final week.

“I don’t even have any feelings now as a result of in my head, the match was finished,” mentioned Rublev on Wednesday.

“Once you’re thrice fortunate, nearly final three tournaments — Australian Open, Doha and Dubai — three tournaments in a row, it’s like, what number of extra Christmas presents can I’ve there?”

Rublev, who’s making an attempt to turn into the primary back-to-back Dubai males’s champion since Roger Federer in 2014-15, will face Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp within the quarter-finals.

Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev, a champion in Rotterdam and Doha in current weeks, claimed an eleventh straight win with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Bublik.

“I believe confidence is extra necessary than fatigue, since you don’t wish to cease,” mentioned Medvedev who faces Borna Coric in Thursday’s last-eight.

Italian world quantity 67 Lorenzo Sonego upset fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 for his first top-10 win of the season and fifth of his profession.

He subsequent takes on Germany No.7 seed Alexander Zverev within the last-eight stage.

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