Checkout: 2020 Dubai Open Schedule
Top seed Novak Djokovic remained on course for a title showdown with second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2020 Dubai Open after the tournament's top two seeds eked out contrasting quarterfinal wins to reach the last four.
Djokovic continued his serene progress through the draw by easing past his 2018 Paris-Bercy final conqueror Karen Khachanov. In the process, the world no. 1 extended his perfect start to the season to 16-0 following his triumph for Team Serbia at the inaugural ATP Cup and his successful title defence at the 2020 Australian Open.
The win also ensures Djokovic will stay at the top of the ATP Rankings next week regardless of how he fares in the remainder of the tournament.
Also read: Djokovic's 3 best starts to an ATP season.
Tsitsipas, on the other hand, had to dig deep. The young Greek fought back from a first set deficit before seeing off big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff and returning to the Dubai semifinals for the second time in as many years.
In the other last-eight matches, Dan Evans toppled in-form Andrey Rublev in straight sets while Gael Monfils got the better of his compatriot Richard Gasquet in an all-French affair. On that note, let us preview the two semifinals at the 2020 ATP Dubai Open:
Semifinal 1: (1) Novak Djokovic vs (3) Gael Monfils
The first semifinal sees Novak Djokovic put his perfect record on the line against mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils for a place in the Dubai final.
In a rather lopsided rivalry, Djokovic has emerged unscathed in all of his 16 previous meetings with Monfils, with his most recent win coming at the 2020 ATP Cup.
Despite Monfils' fine start to 2020 which has seen him win multiple titles in a season for the first time in his career, Djokovic's consistency and relentless baseline game may be a hurdle too big for the Frenchman to surmount.
Unless Monfils, who was a semi-finalist in Dubai last year, comes out all guns blazing and Djokovic has a rare off day, it is hard to envisage the Frenchman breaking his duck in the pair's lopsided rivalry and ending the world no. 1's perfect 16-0 start to the season.
Semifinal 2: Dan Evans vs (2) Stefanos Tsitsipas
Also Checkout: 2020 Dubai Open Results
Dan Evans continued his good run of form at the 2020 Dubai Open, beating one of the in-form players of the season in Russian Andrey Rublev to reach his first semifinal at this tournament.
However, things are going to get much tougher for the Englishman as he takes on second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the final.
Tsitsipas, the recently crowned Marseille champion, needed three sets to get past the challenge of German Jan-Lennard Struff as he strives to return to the Dubai title match for the second time in as many appearances.
Evans and Tsitsipas have never met on tour. Although the pair's first-ever match-up is expected to be a close one, it is likely to go the way of the young Greek who is riding a 7-match win streak and has the superior all-court game.Published 28 Feb 2020, 00:53 IST