Daniil Medvedev brought the season winning streak of Novak Djokovic to it’s end on Friday as he knocked the five-time champion from the ATP Dubai event with a 6-4, 6-4 semi-final upset.
The world No. 1 came to the court with a 15-0 record and titles from Adelaide and the Australian Open to hand but appeared somewhat out of sorts throughout after winning his last four against Medvedev.
Medvedev, who now owns a 13-0 streak of his own, moved into his third final in as many events with his upset in 95 minutes.
The former No. 1 and 2021 US Open winner will aim for the trophy on Sunday against Andrey Rublev, who booked his spot with a breakthrough 6-4, 7-6 (9) win over Alexander Zverev after having lost all five previous matches to his German mate.
Medved will hope to add to his back-to-back February titles in Rotterdam and Doha.
Djokovic last lost a match in early November at the Paris Bercy final against Holger Rune.
“When you play Novak you have to play your best and hope he’s not at his best,” Medvedev said.
“I’m happy I managed to play a higher level than him today.
“I was feeling good before this match, but I’m a little worse now. We had a lot of rallies and it was more humid.
“I could see he was not happy sweating – me neither.
I’m playing good right now but Andry has confidence and he’s playing well.
“I need to be at my best, he beat me in our last two matches (though Medvedev won the previous four).”
Djokovic dropped serve twice in the opening set against Medvedev and began the second by losing serve again, 0-1.
Medvedev, who stood 4-9 in his series with the Serb, seized his opportunities to maintain his distance
The 22-time Grand Slam winner ran out of linecall challenges in the second and protested in vain over a foot fault called on his opponent but which was over-ruled.
Medvedev went calmly about his business, as Djokovic expressed his frustration in chatback from the court to his support box.
Medvedev aced for a 5-3 lead and closed out his upset two games later as he raced to catch a drop shot and answered with his own to set up match point, which was enough to get the job done.