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Medvedev tops Rublev in Dubai final for third straight title

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 04: Daniil Medvedev of Russia takes the first place in men’s single final match of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on March 04, 2023. (Photo by Waleed Zein/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Daniil Medvedev won his 18th tour-level title and third in a row by beating Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2 at the Dubai Championships.

The former No. 1 extended his winning streak to 14 matches in a run that started on Valentine’s Day and included back-to-back trophies in Rotterdam and Doha.

Medvedev, on the second longest winning streak of his career, broke Rublev twice in each set and won the last five games on the hard court.

Rublev was the defending champion but quickly fell behind as he couldn’t hold his serve in the opening game.

“It’s amazing because the start of the year was not perfect,” Medvedev said on court after defeating his good friend. “So I was doubting a lot, and now it just feels better.”

Medvedev gave top-ranked Novak Djokovic his first defeat of the year in the semifinals.

The 2021 U.S. Open champion defeated Andy Murray to win the Qatar Open last week after rallying past Jannik Sinner in the final of the Rotterdam Open.