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Sport Djokovic battles past Monfils to set up Tsitsipas final in Dubai

05:55  29 february  2020
05:55  29 february  2020 Source:   performgroup.com

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Djokovic is yet to lose this year and the Australian Open champion extended his unbeaten run in 2020 to 17 matches with what was also his 17th win over Monfils . "It was truly an escape, he was clearly the better player for two sets ," Djokovic said in the post-match interview. Gael is playing.

Fatigue set in for Monfils in the third as Djokovic won 12 points in a row to take a 4-1 lead and a medical timeout did little to alleviate his suffering as the top seed converted his first match point to In the other semi- final , Tsitsipas beat Briton Dan Evans 6-2 6-3 to advance to his second final in a week.

Novak Djokovic hitting a ball with a racket: Novak Djokovic in Dubai semis action © Getty Images Novak Djokovic in Dubai semis action

Novak Djokovic sensationally maintained his perfect record against Gael Monfils after surviving three match points in a second-set tie-break to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships final.

World number one Djokovic was 16-0 across all matches in 2020 and in his career against Monfils heading into Friday's meeting.

But the 17-time grand slam winner looked set to see his bid for a fifth Dubai championship end prematurely as Monfils led by a set and a break prior to a dramatic conclusion to the second.

Monfils had collected titles in Montpellier and Rotterdam across his own recent winning streak, yet his Djokovic hoodoo somehow continued.

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Novak Djokovic pulled another great escape to set a final clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas on Semi- Final Day in Dubai . Subscribe to our channel for the best

Fatigue set in for Monfils in the third as Djokovic won 12 points in a row to take a 4-1 lead and a medical timeout did little to alleviate his suffering as the top seed converted his first match point to In the other semi- final , Tsitsipas beat Briton Dan Evans 6-2 6-3 to advance to his second final in a week.

Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 28, 2020   Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his Semi Final match against France's Gael Monfils   REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani © Thomson Reuters Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 28, 2020 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his Semi Final match against France's Gael Monfils REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani   Djokovic battles past Monfils to set up Tsitsipas final in Dubai

"It was truly an escape," Djokovic said. "He [Monfils] was clearly a better player for two sets. I was fortunate to work my way back in the second set."

The Frenchman was on top early on and broke in just the third game of the opener, later extending his lead courtesy of the latest in a series of tame Djokovic drop shots.

Djokovic was then spectacularly broken to love in the second, only for Monfils' consistency to wane with the finish line in sight.

The top seed capitalised on the second of his first three break points and set about applying intense pressure to the Monfils serve, but two mammoth holds prompted a remarkable tie-break.

Monfils squandered three opportunities for victory as 10 of the first 11 points went against the serve, Djokovic eventually seizing his fourth set point of the breaker and ninth of the set with a double fault.

Showing visible signs of fatigue, Monfils was broken to love early in the decider and dropped serve again before calling for the trainer, with brief treatment to his left leg unable to arrest the slump as Djokovic clinched a 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 victory.

Halep outlasts Rybakina to clinch second Dubai title

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Fatigue set in for Monfils in the third as Djokovic won 12 points in a row to take a 4-1 lead and a medical timeout did little to alleviate his suffering In the other semi- final , Tsitsipas beat Briton Dan Evans 6-2 6-3 to advance to his second final in a week. The Greek won the Marseille Open on Sunday.

Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas powered into the Dubai Championships quarter- finals with runaway Monfils will bid to reach a third consecutive semi- final against compatriot Richard Gasquet, who Russian sixth seed Andrey Rublev raced away with the second set to score a 7-6 (7/3), 6-0

Djokovic will next go up against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who cruised through to the Dubai decider for a second year running.

Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 28, 2020   Serbia's Novak Djokovic with France's Gael Monfils after winning his semi final match   REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani © Thomson Reuters Tennis - ATP 500 - Dubai Tennis Championships - Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 28, 2020 Serbia's Novak Djokovic with France's Gael Monfils after winning his semi final match REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

The in-form Greek won the Open 13 Marseille title last week and made it eight straight victories with a comprehensive 6-2 6-3 result against Dan Evans.

Tsitsipas, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2019 final, now believes he can move up another level against Djokovic.

"I'm really impressed by the quality of my game today," he said of the Evans win. "I really hope to bring the same and possibly even better in the next round."

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