World’s top two men’s singles players – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal registered contrasting wins to reach the finals of ATP 500 events in Dubai and Mexico respectively. Djokovic saved three consecutive match points against Frenchman Gael Monfils to reach the finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday late night. Meanwhile, Nadal booked a place in the summit clash in Acapulco with a commanding win over seventh-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Also Read - Mutua Madrid Open: Is Paula Badosa the Next Maria Sharapova?
The world number one Djokovic defeated Monfils 2-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-1 in the semifinal and will face next-gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the title clash on Saturday. While the top seed Nadal used a steady stream of blistering forehand winners to gun down Dimitrov in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Also Read - Rafael Nadal Continues His Domination on Clay, Wins 12th Barcelona Open Title
In the Dubai Open, the Serbian legend saved three match points to defeat the entertaining Monfils 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-1 in thrilling semifinal encounter. With already a set down, Djokovic made another miraculous escape while trailing 3/6 in the second set tie-break. He brought his A-game to the fore and unleashed his top skills before cruising to victory in the final set. Also Read - French Open Postponed by a Week Due to COVID-19 Outbreak, to Start From May 24
Courtesy the win, Djokovic is through to his sixth Dubai final (4-1) after winning his 40th match in 46 encounters at the ATP 500 event. The four-time champion also improves to 17-0 this year, building on his title run at the inaugural ATP Cup with Team Serbia and his eighth Australian Open triumph in January.
Meanwhile, in Acapulco, the great Spaniard improved his record to 18-2 at the event and remained flawless (4-0) in Acapulco semifinals. Nadal is a two-time champion in Mexico, clinching trophies in 2005 and 2013. He also continued his dominance over Bulgaria’s Dimitrov (13-1) in their ATP H2H series.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner will start as the favourite to claim his third Acapulco title when he faces unseeded Taylor Fritz in Saturday’s final.
“I’m very happy. A great victory against one of the best players in the world and a good friend,” Nadal said after his one-sided victory on Friday night.
“I think I’ve increased my level during the match, so it’s positive for me.” The top seed clinched the victory on his first match point. He fell behind 0-30 in the final game but rallied to win the next four points.