Novak Djokovic passes Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer


Novak Djokovic advanced to his 13th consecutive Dubai quarter-final following a 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Tallon Griekspoor. Thus, Djokovic became the only player with 13 straight quarter-finals at three tournaments, leaving Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on two. There are only four players with 13 quarter-finals in a row at a single event. Jimmy Connors achieved that at the US Open and stood as the only player on the list before Roger Federer. The Swiss embraced incredible runs in Basel and Halle, dominating both events to earn the record. Rafael Nadal followed his great rival with notable runs in Monte Carlo and Rome, embracing his streaks at both events in 2005. Novak Djokovic matched his opponents with one quarter-final after another in Rome and Roland Garros, always reaching the latter stages at both events. Now, the Serb is the leader of the pack with 13 consecutive quarter-finals in Dubai, debuting in 2007 and never losing in the opening two rounds.

Novak started his 13th Dubai run with a hard-fought 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 victory over the young Czech Tomas Machac. Machac bounced back in the second set and claimed it with an early break. Novak moved 4-1 up in the final set before Tomas pulled the break back and extended the battle. The set went into a tie break, and Djokovic claimed it 7-1 to seal the deal. Novak faced Tallon Griekspoor in the second round and scored a 6-2, 6-3 win in an hour and 22 minutes for a place in the last eight. The Serb served at 51%, and no one could notice that after dropping only nine points behind the initial shot. Novak lost serve once while serving for the victory and converted half of the return points into four breaks from 16 opportunities. Griekspoor stayed in touch with Djokovic in the quickest rallies up to four strokes, and world no. 1 took charge in the mid-range and most advanced exchanges. Novak fired 28 winners and 12 unforced errors and got 30 unforced mistakes from Tallon.

Novak Djokovic has 13 consecutive quarter-finals at three different tournaments.

Djokovic produced four comfortable holds in the opening set and challenged the opponent to repeat that. He broke in the encounter’s second game with a forehand down the line winner and held at love for 3-0 in no time. A forehand winner sent the Serb 5-2 ahead, and he broke again in game eight after the rival’s double fault to wrap up the set. Tallon missed a forehand in the second set’s second game to lose serve, and Novak blasted an ace in the next one for a hold at love and 6-2, 3-0 in under 50 minutes. The fourth game brought 14 deuces and six break points for Djokovic. The Serb seized the last one to secure another break and move closer to the finish line. Tallon saved two match points in game six to avoid a bagel and broke Novak in the next one when world no. 1 served for the victory. Griekspoor fired an ace in game eight to grab his third game and extend the battle. Djokovic served for the victory for the second time at 5-3 and landed a service winner for a hold at 15 and a place in the last eight.

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