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Masterful Djoković defeats Poland’s Hurkacz in Dubai

Novak Djoković stayed on course for his third title of 2023 by powering into the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a 6-3 7-5 win over Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Thursday.

The 35-year-old Serbian won in Adelaide before sealing his 22nd Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open while managing a hamstring injury and has hit top form after a slow start in Dubai on his return to the tour.

Having breezed through the first set on the back of a single break, Djoković found the going tougher in the next as the big-serving Pole raised his game in search of a first win over the world number one in their fifth meeting.

1️⃣5️⃣-0️⃣ is @DjokerNole's score 😅

The world No.1 remains undefeated and unrelenting in 2023, moving past Hurkacz 6-3, 7-5 for a SF [email protected] | #DDFTennis

— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 2, 2023
After a crucial hold from 0-30 down to draw level at 5-5, Djoković grabbed another break to heap the pressure on the player from Wrocław and the five-times champion closed out the match on serve.

Top drawer from the top seed 😮@DDFTennis | #DDFTennis | @DjokerNole

— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 2, 2023
“It was a challenging match as it always is against Hubert,” Djoković said. “I think he’s got one of the best serves in the game. In the second set, until the 11th game I didn’t have too many chances against his serve.”

Next up for Djoković is a meeting with former world number one Daniil Medvedev, who beat Borna Ćorić 6-3 6-2.

It's special when Djokovic applauds 👏

Showtime from @HubertHurkacz @DDFTennis | #DDFTennis

— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 2, 2023
Hurkacz need to not be too downhearted following defeat to the irrepressible world no.1, particularly given his strong start to the year, underscored by his victory at the Marseille Open only last week.

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