Medvedev ousts Djokovic to book final spot in Dubai

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Third seed Daniil Medvedev defeated top seed Novak Djokovic in straight sets to advance to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The Russian won the semi-final encounter 6-4 6-4 to set up a final clash with defending champion Andrey Rublev.

World no. 6 Rublev stormed into the final, edging out childhood friend and No.7 seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (9).

He continues his quest to become the first player since Roger Federer in 2015 to claim back-to-back Dubai titles.

The loss ended Zverev’s hopes of reaching a first final since suffering serious injury at Roland Garros last June.

“I was thinking it was going to be a third set, and maybe that helped me,” said Rublev. “It was a super intense tiebreak. We are really good friends; we’ve known each other since we were 10 or 11 years-old in the juniors. He’s like an older brother to me, and he’s beaten me in our previous matches, so I knew I had nothing to lose.”

On reaching his second consecutive Dubai final, Rublev added: “It’s crazy, I have no words for the spectators and supporters here. All the players are grateful – thank you so much.”

Earlier in the day, in the first of the doubles semi-finals, third seeds Lloyd Glasspool of the UK and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara downed Croatian duo Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-4, 6-2 in under and hour on Centre Court.

Yet to drop a set in Dubai, Glasspool and Heliovaara are chasing their fourth ATP Tour title, and second tournament win of the year after triumphing in January’s Adelaide International 1.

They will face either Maxime Cressy of the USA and France’s Fabrice Martin, or Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen – the all-Belgian surprise package who have surged through the tournament after being promoted to the opening round as Lucky Losers.

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