Daniil Medvedev becomes the first player to defeat Novak in 2023.
Third seed Daniil Medvedev defeated top seed and five-time Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships titlist Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 on Friday, to reach the final of the ATP 500 outdoor hard-court event.
Novak was one of the leading favourites to win the tournament, especially after a perfect 15-0 run in 2023.
Djokovic struggled to find the right rhythm against the Russian. Medvedev had raced to a 5-2 lead in the opening set with two breaks of serve, before the Serbian top seed managed to break back once. The Moscow native served it out two games later and immediately grabbed an early break in the second set. He continued to play aggressively and kept the advantage until the end to seal the win.
Match statistics: aces (5-8), double faults (1-1), winners (26-20), unforced errors (38-12), total points won (61-63).
Novak was chasing his sixth title in Dubai, having lifted the trophy in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2020.
Medvedev will take on his compatriot, no.2 seed Andrey Rublev, in the final on Saturday. The defending champion beat Alexander Zverev in straight sets (6-3, 7-6).