Novak Djokovic into Dubai quarters after conquering Karen Khachanov
Novak Djokovic has reached the quarter-finals in Dubai for the 12th time in his career as he continues his pursuit of a sixth title there and first on tour in 2022.
In fact, the world number one has never failed to reach the last eight at the event since making his debut in 2007.
Today Djokovic overcame world number 26 Karen Khachanov 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), and though the result was in straight sets it was not straightforward for the Serb.
“Obviously I was feeling excited and motivated,” he said in his on-court interview of his feelings during the battle.
“But also stressed, especially in the moments when you are facing a break point.”
Djokovic was up a break in the second before Khachanov broke to level it at 4-4, eventually forcing a tiebreak before the top seed came out on top there.
The 20-time Slam champion had been away from competition for nearly three months before the tournament, and he expressed how much he missed playing in that time.
“I missed [playing obviously],” he continued post-match.
“This is my life, this is what I’ve known to do and continue to do for the last 20 years almost.
“Professional tennis is my love.”
Next up Djokovic takes on Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely for a place in the semi-finals.
The two have met before, at Monte Carlo in 2016, when Vesely came out on top in three sets.
Then ranked 55th in the world, the 28-year-old has since dipped in and out of the ATP top 100 and is currently ranked 123rd in the world.
Image credit Florin Baltatoiu
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