Former World No.1 Daniil Medvedev beat defending champion Andrey Rublev in an all-Russian final at ATP500 event in Dubai to clinch his third title in three weeks.
Third-seeded Medvedev, who came to Dubai after winning the tournaments in Rotterdam and Doha, defeated second-seeded Rublev 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and eight minutes to claim his 14th straight match win. Medvedev is the third player to win three titles in as many weeks since 2021 after Casper Ruud (July 2021) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (October 2022).
The 2021 US Open champion Medvedev, who ended World No.1 Novak Djokovic’s unbeaten start to the season in the semifinals, broke Rublev in the opening game of the match before doubling his advantage in the seventh game to win the opening set. The second set was no different as he got the break of serves in the fifth and seventh games to wrap up the match and extend the head-to-head advantage to 5-2.
Overall, Medvedev hit 27 winners and made only six unforced errors as compared to Rublev’s 22 winners and 10 unforced errors.
“It was very tactical [match],” Medvedev said in his on-court interview. “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.”
“I had great matches, great victories, I was supposed to lose in the second round,” said the 25-year-old Rublev, who saved five consecutive match points in his encounter with Alejandro Davidovich Fokina earlier in the week.
“But in the end I found a way to be alive until the final, and then Daniil destroyed me tonight.
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“Only four games, I don’t know how he’s doing that, three titles in a row, it’s my first final of the season, I told him I’m completely destroyed and he won three titles in a row.
“I think I never said this to Daniil face to face, but I have huge, huge respect for him.”
The 27-year-old Medvedev, who won his 18th title on the ATP Tour, swapped places with Rublev in the Live ATP Rankings. While Medvedev moved one place up to sixth, Rublev slipped down to seventh.
Medvedev is six victories away from equalling his career-best winning streak on the ATP Tour and next plays at Indian Wells Masters which begins from March 8.
(With inputs from AFP)