Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim fifth Dubai Tennis Championship title

Novak Djokovic with the Dubai Tennis Championship Trophy
Novak Djokovic with the Dubai Tennis Championship Trophy

Checkout: 2020 Dubai Tennis Championship Result

What's the story?

World No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia claimed the men's singles title at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 as the 32-year-old defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to win his 5th title at the Dubai event.

In case you didn't know

The Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 was held at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium from 17th to 29th February. It started with a Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Premier 5 level women’s event which concluded on 22nd February with Simona Halep claiming the title and was followed by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) 500 men’s tournament.

Novak Djokovic had entered the tournament on a hot winning streak. Having won the inaugural ATP Cup title with Serbia followed by a record 8th Australian Open title, he was the favourite to claim the title in Dubai and maintain his unbeaten run this year.

Heart of the matter

Continuing his winning run at the start of 2020, top seed Novak Djokovic outplayed second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to claim his 5th Dubai Open title. This was his 18th consecutive win from the beginning of the year and his 79th career title overall.

This was the second successive loss for Tsitsipas in the Dubai Open final after he had lost in the last year's final to Roger Federer. More importantly, Tsitsipas was not successful in clinching his second consecutive title in two weeks, having won the Marseille Open title last week.

The first set was decided on a single break of serve with the Serb breaking his Greek opponent in the 8th game and closing the set 6-3 by holding his serve in the next game. Djokovic broke his opponent again in the 5th game of the second set but was broken back in the very next game.

Tsitsipas was broken again in the 9th game and this time, there was no looking back for Djokovic, as he closed the set and with it the match 6-3, 6-4 after holding serve at love in the 10th game.

At the post-match interview, Djokovic mentioned that he was a little fortunate at the beginning of the match but got the required momentum once he broke his opponent's serve.

“Yeah, again I think it was a little bit of a slow start from me. I was fortunate to hold my service games. He was very close to break my serve first three service games that I had in the first set. After that, that probably decisive break of serve at 4-3 that allowed me to serve it out for the set, I felt mentally I started having a little bit more of an advantage on the court. You could sense that I got the momentum. I didn’t want to lose the momentum."

The Serb was very pleased that he could close out the match and bag another trophy at the event.

“I was comfortable from the back of the court playing with him. It seems like he did drop his intensity a little bit from the previous matches. Anyway, nevertheless it had to be done in a right way. I served out the match in a great fashion, won another trophy here. I’m just obviously very, very pleased”

Djokovic was elated with the perfect start to the year and hoped that he could continue in the same vein.

“Of course I’m trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am. I think this has been one of the best starts of all seasons I had in my career. I feel great on the court. I’ve been playing great tennis on the hard court that is my most successful and preferred surface."
"I’m just grateful that I’m playing well, feeling well. I’ve won many matches now in a row. I’ll try to keep that run going. It’s just way too early to speak about how long that run might go, the calculations.”

What's next?

Djokovic would be looking forward to continuing his winning streak in the upcoming tournaments. The 17-time Grand Slam champion will be hoping to close the gap between himself and the other two tennis greats, Roger Federer (20 Grand Slam titles) and Rafael Nadal (19 Grand Slam title), in the race for maximum Grand Slam titles.

Tsitsipas on the other hand, would hope to win his first Grand Slam title and end the hegemony of the three all-time greats at the Grand Slam level.

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Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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