Medvedev beats Rublev in Dubai for hard-court hat-trick
Duel of childhood Russian friends ends in victory for semifinal conqueror of Novak Djokovic
Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive form with a 6-2 6-2 win over compatriot Andrey Rublev in the Dubai Tennis Championships final on Saturday, claiming his third title in three weeks.
Defending champion Rublev, bidding for a second straight title in Dubai, was unable to put up much resistance as he did not have a single break point during a battle between childhood friends that lasted just over an hour.
Medvedev, who entered the final having not dropped a set this week and ended Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten run in the semifinals, added to February’s titles in Doha and Rotterdam to take his tally to 19 tour-level titles.
“It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis when you don’t win matches you have doubts. Now it just feels better,” Medvedev said.
“I was really happy with these three weeks and I am looking forward to the next ones.
“I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer. Today I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story.”
The 27-year-old, who sent down nine aces and converted 57% of the breakpoints he won in the final, moves sixth in the ATP rankings, while Rublev drops to No 7.
“I think it’s a good thing for Daniil that he’s doing this, for his career, for his life, that he’s achieving those things. Three titles in a row, it's unreal. What else to say?” Rublev said.
Former US Open champion Medvedev next travels to the US where he will look to continue his winning run at Indian Wells from March 19 to April 2.
• The US Tennis Association (USTA) and the US Open are hoping Novak Djokovic is successful in his bid to enter the country after the Serbian, who is not vaccinated against Covid-19, applied for special permission last month.
Djokovic, one of the highest-profile athletes unvaccinated against Covid-19, said last week he was hoping for a positive outcome shortly after applying to enter the US to compete in ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami this month.
“Novak Djokovic is one the greatest champions our sport has ever seen,” the US Open Twitter account said on Friday.
“The USTA and US Open are hopeful that Novak is successful in his petition to enter the country, and that the fans will be able to see him back in action at Indian Wells and Miami,” it added.
The US vaccine requirement for foreign air travellers is not expected to be lifted before the main draw begins at Indian Wells on March 9 and the Miami Open later in the month, meaning Djokovic could miss out for a second straight year.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.