Dubai: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic continued his unbeaten run adding a fifth title at the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open while denying Stefanos Tsitsipas a second time following a smooth 6-3, 6-4 win at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, late on Saturday.
Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum, President of Tennis Emirates, was joined by Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-President and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Ramesh Cidambi, COO of Dubai Duty Free and Tournament Director Salah Tahlak at the presentation of trophies after the final.
Appearing in his sixth final from 11 appearances here, Djokovic had gone in with a 4-1 record while capturing three successive titles from 2009 to 2011 and a fourth in 2013.
Fifth Dubai crown
Late on Friday, he had improved to 17-0 on the season with his comeback win over Gael Monfils while saving three match points and clinch his 20th consecutive match dating back to the Davis Cup Finals in November.
On Saturday, though not displaying a similar intensity as the previous day, Djokovic did just enough to waltz his way to a fifth Dubai crown, and along with it a just reward of holding on his world No. 1 spot for yet another week when the fresh rankings are declared on Monday.
“It’s been a great week of tennis and I feel I am fortunate to play the way I did and come out of situations especially during that semi-finals against Gael [Monfils]. What stood out in the end throughout the week was the consistency in my shots,” Djokovic told the crowd on centre court.
Tournament Director Tahlak then went on to add that Shaikh Mansoor Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Sports Council has awarded a ‘Golden Card’ 10-year visa to Dubai’s new champion Djokovic. The tournament director also disclosed that the Serbian world No. 1 has promised to return in 2021 to defend his title here.
Tied 2-2 going into their fifth meeting, it was Djokovic taking a few more risks and that paid off in the eighth game as a deep passing shot through the middle of the court saw Tsitsipas broken for the only time while serving out the set in 39 minutes.
The second got even more interesting as both exchanged breaks midway before Djokovic eased off to a second break in the ninth and then completed the formalities to win 6-4 in just 77 minutes on court. The world number one has now won 43 of the 49 sets played this season.
Earlier in the doubles final, John Peers of Australia teamed up with Michael Venus of New Zealand to pick up their very first ATP Tour title of the season. Going in with a 5-3 career record together in their fourth tournament this season, Peers and Venus were pretty much in control throughout their one-hour workout on court as they rattled off the first set 6-3 with the break in the second game.
The second set was even more tight, but the pair moved clear with breaks in the fifth and seventh to serve out set and match 6-2.
(Men’s singles final) Novak Djokovic bt Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4.
(Men’s doubles final) John Peers/Michael Venus bt Raven Klaasen/Oliver Marach 6-3, 6-2.