Daniil Medvedev at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA
Daniil Medvedev continued his winning streak to claim his first Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title on Saturday (March 4).
The 2021 US Open champion beat close friend and defending champion Andrey Rublev to win 6-2, 6-2 at the centre court of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. Watch video clip here
Armed with a 13-game winning streak that also saw him defeating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, Medvedev was arguably slight favourite against defending champion Rublev.
World No.2 Rublev could not find a way past Medvedev, who took a 5-2 lead in their head-to-head battles.
Rublev saved one break point in the opening game but couldn’t save the second as a backhand into the net handed Medvedev an early lead. From that point on the World No.8 always seemed in control, with opponent Rublev cutting a frustrated figure. He broke serve again in game eight to take the opening set 6-2.
As Rublev appeared to let his frustration get the better of him, Medvedev continued to press with his speed, whipped groundstrokes, and serve return capabilities and he struck a decisive break in game five, then broke again in game seven.
Rublev saved one match point at 40-0 in game eight, but Medvedev powered down another serve to seal a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory for his first Dubai title.
“You always doubt what you do in practice, so I wasn’t really expecting what’s happened over the past three weeks, but I’m obviously very happy with how things have turned out, and looking forward to what’s next,” said a beaming Medvedev following his triumph.
“The match tonight was very tactical. Andrey can cause trouble to anyone on Tour and every time we play he tries to make me suffer and I try to make him suffer, so I’m glad it went my way this time. I’ve felt at home since I arrived in Dubai. Even in the first match this week, I played a qualifier and the support was 50-50; great energy from the crowd here all week so thank you,” he said.
Runner-up Rublev received a great ovation from the spectators before collecting his trophy, and responded: “Thank you very much, I’ve never had support like that. I’m really grateful and thank you to all for coming and supporting all of us. Because of you, our sport is growing and becoming more famous. I’ve played well this week, had some great matches, but Daniil destroyed me tonight. Three titles in a row, I don’t know how he is doing it, but I have huge respect for him. He’s a real champion.” ICA/Expat Media
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