AAP Tennis

Dominant Djokovic races into Dubai semis

By AAP Newswire

Novak Djokovic extended his undefeated start to this season to a perfect 16-0 on Thursday after a dominant 6-2 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov to reach the Dubai semi-finals.

The world No.1 hadn't faced a break point en route to the last-eight stage this week, and was in punishing form against Russian Khachanov, who fell to the Serb in a mere 66 minutes.

The 32-year-old Djokovic will take on Gael Monfils in the last four, who eased passed his fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3 to record a 12th consecutive match-win on tour.

Djokovic, competing in Dubai for the first time since 2016, has now made the last four in the Emirates nine times from 11 appearances.

"I'm definitely feeling well and playing really well," he said.

"I like playing night sessions, conditions are quite different to the day and last couple of days there was quite a lot of wind, it's not easy to find the rhythm on the serve and groundstrokes.

"Tough match for Karen, I think he can do much better than what he has done tonight, it wasn't his day."

Earlier in the day, Stefanos Tsitsipas said he would not let fatigue get in the way of his bid for a second consecutive final appearance in Dubai.

The world No.6 needed two hours and 22 minutes to battle past Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 and set up a semi-final against Briton Dan Evans.

Tsitsipas, who successfully defended his Marseille title last Sunday, will be looking to extend his current winning streak to eight matches in a row when he takes on Evans for the first time.

"I did feel a bit tired when I started the match [against Struff]. Just couldn't put pressure on myself. That's a sign of fatigue. Besides that I still managed to find ways to fight," said the 21-year-old Tsitsipas.

"It wouldn't be an excuse even if I would lose, that I was tired. It's not an excuse. I should be in charge of that. It's my rehab that I got to take care of. I got to be ready for every single match."

Evans reached the first ATP 500-level semi-final of his career with a tough 6-2 7-6 (11-9) success over sixth-seeded Andrey Rublev earlier on Centre Court.