Henry Wancke | 9th Mar 2020 | 0
Dubai | Djokovic scrambles into final while Evans’ run ends
Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic was pushed hard by Gael Monfils over two sets but failed to convert the three match points he negotiated going out in the decider with fatigue.
It was an amazing escape,. Gael was playing as well as he ever has Novak Djokovic
Djokovic won through 2-6 7-6(8) 6-1 and described his survival as ‘an amazing escape’ following his 17th consecutive win over the Frenchman and faces Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-2 6-3 conqueror of Dan Evans in the other semi-final of the Dubai Championships.
The Frenchman committed a forehand and backhand error on the first of his two match points and then blew the third on a double fault giving Djokovic the chance to level the match on his eighth set point before strolling through to victory after two hours and 30-minutes.
“It was an amazing escape,” said Djokovic who now has a 20-match win streak stretching from the end of last year.
“Gael was playing as well as he ever has.
“It was difficult to go through him. I have good defence, but what he did today was unbelievable.
“On the match points, I just hoped that he would miss on first serves, which he did. That gave me an opportunity to get into the points.
“I know Gael was injured and he could not play his best, but once he’s healthy, watch out.”
Tsitsipas, who lost the final a year ago to Roger Federer, won his eighth match in a row when he defeated the British No.1 in just 83-minutes.
“I managed to stay solid throughout the whole match, I didn’t have too much stress, I stayed quite calm and played well,” the Greek who won the Marseille title last weekend, said.
“I was dominating a lot from my forehand side, playing with a clear head and not thinking of too much, staying in the moment, trying to process of what potentially he’s going to use on the court.
“It was just a matter of time for me to take the lead and get up in the score.”
Tsitsipas was never threatened on his serve and broke Evans, who had played for over six five hours in his three previous rounds, four times.