Serbian Novak Djokovic took another step towards winning his third title in 2023, after qualifying for the semi-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championships, by defeating Hubert Horkacz, 6-3, 7-5, on Thursday.
The 35-year-old won in Adelaide before claiming his 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open despite suffering from a hamstring problem. But he regained his best form after a slow start in Dubai after returning to the professional championships.
After winning the first set easily, Djokovic faced great resistance in the second, as Hurkacz, the huge serve, raised his level in search of his first victory over the world number one in their fifth meeting.
After the 5-5 draw, Djokovic achieved another break to serve his opponent, to double the pressure on Hurkacz, and the five-time Dubai champion decided the match in his favor.
“It was a tough match, as always, against Hubert, who has one of the strongest serves on the Pro Tour,” Djokovic said. In the second set, until the 11th game, I didn’t have many opportunities against his serve.
In the next round, Djokovic will meet former world number one Daniil Medvedev, who beat Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2.
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