Novak Djokovic qualified for the quarter-finals of the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai on Wednesday, beating Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-2, 6-3.
After being manhandled in the previous round by the Czech Tomas Machac to whom he had to leave a set, the world number one regained confidence and left no chance for Griekspoor, 39th in the world.
He only experienced a small failure in the 2nd set when he let his opponent, then led 5-1, save two match points then take his serve to return to 5-2 then 5-3. But the Serb quickly set the record straight to win the last game.
“I was not far from the best today,” Djokovic said after his win. “From the start, it went very well and I played much better quality tennis than yesterday (Tuesday editor’s note). The last three, four games were not perfect but I managed to serve well to again and I’m very happy with my performance and things are going in the right direction,” he added.
He will meet in the quarterfinals the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, winner of the Russian qualifier Pavel Kotov 7-5, 6-1.
Earlier in the day, Russian Andrey Rublev (6th in the world) miraculously qualified for the quarterfinals by beating Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich (29th) 1-6, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7 /3) after saving five match points.
“Being down 6 points to 1 in the tie-break (of the second set, Ed) and saving five match points, I don’t think that has ever happened to me in my life,” said the Russian, seeded N .2, after his victory.
“He was playing very well and I couldn’t find a solution,” he added.
Rublev, quarter-finalist at the Australian Open, will be opposed in the quarter-finals to the Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp (33rd in the world).