Daniil Medvedev won his third title in as many weeks, winning his 14th match in a row to lift the Dubai title out of the clutches of defending champion and his old friend and rival Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-2.
After his triumphs in Rotterdam and Doha, he has now added the Dubai crown to his tally – his 18th singles title, and a 17th on hard court.
And he sent a warning to the rest of the tour as he wrote, “Not over yet,” on the TV camera immediately after the match.
Medvedev, slightly the senior, extends his head-to-head record over Rublev to 5-2; he had won the first four matches of their rivalry on tour, but the younger man had won the most recent two clashes.
Medvedev: Rublev and I try to make each other suffer
The new champion finishes the week without having dropped a set, and that includes a semi-final victory over the top seed and record-breaking world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
“It’s amazing,” Medvedev said on court afterwards. “The start of the year was not perfect. In tennis when you don’t win tournaments you’re always doubting, no matter what happens in practice, so I was doubting a lot. Now it just feels better. Really happy with these three weeks and looking forward to the next ones.”
He expanded a little, and even made a wry joke at his own expense, noting his thwarted effort for a spectacular match point: “Sometimes you feel like you’re doing all the right shots and things and you’re losing matches, and sometimes you don’t even think any more, just go for it, go for some crazy stuff. I tried to go for one on match point – it didn’t work!”
And he tried to console his opponent, who was looking extremely disconsolate on his chair: “I think it was very tactical [against Rublev]. I know that Andrey can cause a lot of troubles to everyone on tour. For sure every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer! Today I managed to be on top. Our next match could be a different story.”