© AFP/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic improves to 3-2 in his ATP Head2Head series against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Djokovic Lifts Fifth Dubai Title

World No. 1 extends winning streak to 21 matches

Novak Djokovic continued his unbeaten start to the 2020 ATP Tour season on Saturday, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to claim his fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title.

One day after saving three consecutive match points to beat Gael Monfils in a dramatic semi-final, Djokovic raised his level and converted each of his three break points to win his 21st straight match. Djokovic has won each of the 18 encounters he has contested this season, winning 43 of 49 sets.

Novak Djokovic's 20+ Match Win Streaks

Win Streak Year
43 2010-2011
28 2015
28 2013-14
23 2015
22 2018
22 2012-13
21 2019-20

“I'm trying to embrace the moment and appreciate where I am,” said Djokovic. “I think this has been one of the best starts of all the seasons I had in my career. I feel great on the court. I've been playing great tennis on the hard courts. That is my most successful and preferred surface.

“I'm just grateful that I'm playing well, feeling well. I've won many matches now in a row. I'll try to keep that run going. It's just way too early to speak about how long that run might go, the calculations. I try not to think about predictions. I try to focus on what I need to do with myself and my team in order to thrive every day, in order to try to play as best as I can every single match. That's the main focus.”

Djokovic continues to impress in 2020, having also lifted the inaugural ATP Cup with Team Serbia and a record-extending eighth Australian Open title last month. With his first Dubai trophy since 2013, Djokovic improves to 5-1 in finals at the ATP 500 event. Only Roger Federer, in 2015, has beaten the World No. 1 in a Dubai final.

This is the first time that a No. 1 seed has beaten a No. 2 seed at this tournament. In each of the previous four contests between the event’s Top 2 seeds, the second seed has lifted the trophy.

Top 2 Seeds In Dubai Final

Year Result
2020 [1] Djokovic d. [2] Tsitsipas
2015 [2] Federer d. [1] Djokovic
2011 [2] Djokovic d. [1] Federer
2006 [2] Nadal d. [1] Federer
1997 [2] Muster d. [1] Ivanisevic

In a first set largely dominated by serve, Djokovic attacked Tsitsipas’ backhand with deep returns to earn his first break point at 4-3. The 32-year-old was forced to defend as Tsitsipas attacked with an aggressive inside-out forehand approach, but Djokovic ripped a flat cross-court backhand passing shot to take a 5-3 lead. Djokovic converted his first set point with a backhand winner down the line.

After trading breaks early in the second set, Djokovic once again earned a late service break. With Tsitsipas serving at 4-4, the 17-time Grand Slam champion extracted forehand errors from the Greek to earn two break points. Djokovic played with depth and aggression in an extended rally on his first opportunity, before changing the rhythm with a cross-court drop shot to move to within one game of his 79th tour-level crown. As he did when serving for the first set, Djokovic held serve comfortably with another backhand winner down the line.

“I felt mentally I started having a little bit more of an advantage on the court [after breaking at 4-3]. You could sense that I got the momentum. I didn't want to lose the momentum,” said Djokovic.

“I was a break up in the second set. He [broke back] right away. I was comfortable from the back of the court playing with him. It seems like he did drop his intensity a little bit from the previous matches… I served out the match in a great fashion, won another trophy here. I'm just obviously very, very pleased.”

Tsitsipas was attempting to capture his first Dubai title in his second straight final at the tournament. The Marseille champion, who entered this year’s final on an eight-match winning streak, fell to Roger Federer in last year’s championship match.

"It's disappointing trying so hard and not really getting the final result that you want," said Tsitsipas. "For sure, I would love to see myself holding that trophy. Of course, he gave more than me and he deserves it."

Djokovic receives 500 FedEx ATP Ranking points and earns $565,705 in prize money. Tsitsipas gains 300 ATP Ranking points and collects $284,485.