Novak Djokovic news: World No 1 keeps title charge going in Dubai
Novak Djokovic built on his strong record at the Dubai Tennis Championships by moving into the quarter-finals for the 12th time in succession.
The World No 1 had to be at his best to see off big-serving Russian Karen Khachanov.
Djokovic completed a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory in one hour and 38 minutes.
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“I was feeling excited and motivated,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview after the triumph.
“But also at the same time I was feeling stressed.
“Particularly at the moments when I was facing break points.
The Serb was happy to play in front of full stands, adding: “I thought the atmosphere in the stadium was terrific.”
With this latest victory, Djokovic has now advanced to at least the quarter-final stage in Dubai every year he has competed at the event since his debut in 2007.
The World No 1 said he missed being on court and is happy to be playing again.
“I missed it [playing competitively]. This is my life,” Djokovic said. “This is what I have known for the past 20 years. Tennis is my love. I enjoying bringing positive energy and memories for people who watch.”
Djokovic was comfortable in the first set, avoiding giving up a single break point on his way to taking the stanza 6-3.
The Serbian was made to sweat when unleashed his baseline power to fight back from 4-2 down to force a tiebreaker.
Djokovic raised his game in the tiebreaker, though and sealed the set and the match in emphatic fashion.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner made a winning return to the ATP Tour on Monday when he defeated Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti in the first round.
Djokovic will next play Jiri Vesely after the Czech qualifier upset Qatar Open winner Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4.
After Djokovic’s win, Andrey Rublev fought back from a set down to book his place in the quarterfinals.
The Russian second seed went a set down to World no 60 Soonwoo Kwon but found his feet to claim a 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 win.
World No 7 Rublev will face giant-killing American Mackenzie McDonald who saw his seventh-seeded compatriot Aslan Karatsev in the Dubai quarterfinals.
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