Rublev beats Zverev for 1st time, advances to Dubai final
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Defending champion Andrey Rublev advanced to the final at the Dubai Championships by beating Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (9) for his first tour-level win over the German.
Rublev needed six match points to finally put away Zverev. The Russian will face either top-ranked Novak Djokovic or former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in the final.
The 25-year-old Rublev had lost all five previous matches against his longtime friend, who had reached his first semifinal match since the French Open last June.
The sixth-ranked Rublev saved a set point in the second-set tiebreaker.
“Today when I was going on court I was thinking I have nothing to lose. He always beat me, so why I need to be tight,” said Rublev, who last year beat Jiri Vesely for the title.
Djokovic and Medvedev play in the other semifinal match. Djokovic has a 20-match winning streak; Medvedev has won 12 in a row.
Medvedev beat Djokovic in the final of the 2021 U.S. Open for his first - and only - major title and in the process denied Djokovic of the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s singles since 1969.
But Djokovic has won the last four of their meetings.