The championship final at the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will be contested by the top two seeds in the tournament. World No.1 Novak Djokovic looks to win his fifth title on these parts, while Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas is aiming to put last year’s final defeat to Roger Federer behind him and go one better this year.
Who will walk away with the prestigious Dubai crown on Saturday?
ATP Dubai Final Prediction
Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas
Head-to-head: Djokovic 2-2 Tsitsipas
Much of the pre-tournament stories were centered around a possible Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer collision in the finals this week. But following the Swiss master’s absence due to knee surgery, Djokovic bludgeoned his way through the draw playing sublime tennis in his opening three rounds.
However, he survived an almighty scare in the semifinals as he came from a set down to beat Gael Monfils for the 17th time to extend his winning streak to 17-0 for the season. The in-form Frenchman had victory within sight when he led 6-3 in the second set tiebreak, but the World No.1 proved yet again why he is indeed tennis’ ultimate Iron Man.
Djokovic will now contest a sixth final in Dubai having won the event four times in the past. And standing in his way will be Stefanos Tsitsipas, the effervescent young Greek who has reached a second successive final at the tournament. Tsitsipas lost last year’s final to Federer after a taxing semifinal against Monfils, and how ironic that it was the Frenchman who happened to be Djokovic’s opponent this time and took the World No.1 to the brink of defeat.
Tsitsipas was slow off the blocks to start the year, going 3-4 between the ATP Cup and Rotterdam. But he is right back on track after a successful title defense in Marseille last weekend, and he has now won his past eight matches overall after adding four victories this week. Can he inflict a first defeat of 2020 to Djokovic on Saturday?
Both players are in peak form which makes this final even more compelling. Djokovic is a sizable favorite, but Tsitsipas has been a thorn in his game in their rivalry, beating the Serb on the hard courts of Toronto and Shanghai. The 23-year-old will need to hit right through Djokovic’s supreme defense – which is easier said than done – if he is to hurt to the Serb. While I suspect, he may succeed at fluctuating periods in the match, it will get increasingly difficult to sustain that intensity over three sets.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
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