Andrey Rublev cruised to the Dubai Tennis Championship title with a 6-3 6-4 final victory to end the dream run of qualifier Jiri Vesely.

Having made headlines after his semi-final triumph over Hubert Hurkacz by writing "no war please" on a television camera in protest at Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Rublev wrapped up his third title in just a matter of days in emphatic fashion, after winning both the singles and doubles titles at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille last week.

The Russian world number seven had needed three sets in each of his last three contests but wrapped up a more straightforward victory against his Czech opponent, who had defeated 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic en route to the final.

Rublev broke Vesely's serve in the fourth game of the contest, not dropping a single point behind his first serve as he roared to a 6-3 win in the opening set.

The 24-year-old then broke again in the opening game of the second set, before the Czech, ranked number 123 in the world, battled back bravely to level the set at 3-3.

Rublev responded in brutal fashion, however, immediately breaking again and going on to seal a comfortable victory, hitting just eight unforced errors throughout the contest, as he claimed his 10th career title.

The victory made it 13 match wins in a row for Rublev across singles and doubles after his successful time in Marseille, where he successfully teamed up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov for a symbolic doubles triumph.

"I was lucky today, and that's why I am happy to be the champion, I didn't expect this," said Rublev. "It's an amazing feeling and I don't know what to say."

Russia's Andrey Rublev wrote "no war please" on a camera lens as he joined compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Rublev beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) on Friday to progress to the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After confirming his place in a showdown with Jiri Vesely, the 24-year-old world number seven took a pen and scribed "no to war" on the lens of a television camera.

Vesely later wrote 'no war' on a camera lens after defeating Denis Shapovalov to book his place in the final.

It is not uncommon for players to write messages on camera lenses, but a plea for peace was an emotive move from Rublev.

On Thursday, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine following weeks of rising political tensions. The conflict escalated further still on Friday, with reports of fighting within the capital city of Kyiv.

Rublev's actions came after Medvedev – who will succeed Novak Djokovic as world number one next week – said he wanted to "promote peace".

Medvedev has reached the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

Rublev had previously expressed his wish for peace in a news conference at the Dubai event.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev said, with a video clip shared to his official Instagram account.

"It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

Russia's Andrey Rublev wrote "no to war" on a camera lens as he joined compatriot Daniil Medvedev in calling for peace.

Rublev beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) on Friday to progress to the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After confirming his place in a showdown with either Denis Shapovalov or Jiri Vesely, the 24-year-old world number seven took a pen and scribed "no to war" on the lens of a television camera.

It is not uncommon for players to write messages on camera lenses, but a plea for peace was an emotive move from Rublev.

On Thursday, Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine following weeks of rising political tensions. The conflict escalated further still on Friday, with reports of fighting within the capital city of Kyiv.

Rublev's actions came after Medvedev – who will succeed Novak Djokovic as world number one next week – said he wanted to "promote peace".

Medvedev has reached the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

Rublev had previously expressed his wish for peace in a news conference at the Dubai event.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev said, with a video clip shared to his official Instagram account.

"It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

 New world number one Daniil Medvedev said he wants to "promote peace all over the world", after the Russian achieved a career highlight amid the crisis in Ukraine.

Medvedev's 6-2 6-3 victory over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka saw him advance to the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco on Thursday, where he will face Rafael Nadal in a repeat of last month's Australian Open final classic.

The Russian advanced shortly after Novak Djokovic's shock loss to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships, which ensured that he will start next week atop the ATP world rankings for the first time.

The news came shortly after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, an act that has attracted condemnation from across the sporting world.

"Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy," Medvedev told reporters.

"By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries. I've been in so many countries as a junior and as a pro. 

"It's just not easy to hear all this news. I'm all for peace. In these moments, you understand that tennis sometimes is not that important. 

"It was not easy to play and I'm happy that I managed to win the match, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster day for me."

Medvedev's compatriot Andrey Rublev had earlier spoken out in favour of peace, calling the situation "terrible" in an Instagram post.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev's post read. "It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

Rublev teamed up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov to win the Open 13 Provence doubles title in Marseille just days ago, having also won the singles title at the tournament in southern France.

Novak Djokovic has not lost any motivation for tennis, but believes he needs time to find some rhythm after a long break, as he conceded the world number one spot.

Djokovic's 86-week reign at the top of the ATP rankings will end on Monday, after the Serbian lost to qualifier Jiri Vesely 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the Dubai Tennis Championships.

That means that Daniil Medvedev will leapfrog Djokovic regardless of whether or not he wins in Acapulco.

Using his official Twitter account, Djokovic congratulated both Vesely – who won his only previous meeting with the 20-time grand slam champion back in 2016 – and Medvedev.

"Well played @jiri_vesely, that was a great game. Wish you the best of luck for the rest of the tournament," Djokovic wrote, accompanying his post with a thumbs up emoji.

"Congratulations also to a very deserving @DaniilMedwed, who will now become world number one."

His appearance in Dubai was Djokovic's first competitive action of 2022, after he was unable to feature at the Australian Open due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While suggesting he is still working his way back to full sharpness after not playing since December, Djokovic insisted he is fully motivated to carry on playing.

"My goal is to keep on playing tennis," Djokovic said in his post-match news conference.

"That's the ultimate goal. For as long as I really feel like it and as long as I can play. As long as my body allows me, as long as the circumstances in my life as well, the people that surround me [and] support me.

"I'm still motivated and I'm still p***** off when I lose a match. I care about it. I care about winning every match, as anybody else on the Tour, regardless of the age. I'm actually glad that I'm feeling a lot of emotions every single day because it means that I really want to be part of this sport, part of the Tour.

"Unfortunately, [it] wasn't my day. I congratulate Jiri. He played better. 

"The more matches I play, the more comfortable I get on the court. I need the match play. I didn't have many matches at all last few months.

"I don't look at the age really as a restricting factor for my career. I still feel great in terms of my body and the way it's holding on, the way it's recovering. It's been serving me well, so to say. That's something that obviously encourages me to keep going."

Daniil Medvedev will become the new world number one after Novak Djokovic was beaten by Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Medvedev entered this week knowing victory at the Mexican Open would see him move to the top of the ATP rankings for the first time.

But the Russian was still waiting to play his quarter-final on Thursday when his ascension was confirmed courtesy of Djokovic's last-eight defeat in Dubai.

Djokovic, a seven-time year-end number one, had led the rankings for 86 consecutive weeks, boosting his record total to 361 weeks.

In his first tournament since missing the Australian Open, however, the five-time Dubai champion struggled to match 123rd-ranked Vesely and went down 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Djokovic might have known what to expect, having lost his only prior meeting with Vesely in Monte Carlo in 2016.

The Serbian looked like getting to grips with his opponent at the start of the second set, applying pressure, but was then broken again and had to respond strongly to reach a tie-break.

Again, Vesely led, and Djokovic's match was summed up by a double-fault immediately after winning back the mini-break, allowing the Czech to prevail.

The victor hailed the end of Djokovic's reign, saying in his on-court interview: "It's great for tennis to have somebody new as world number one again.

"We all know Novak missed the Australian Open, but he's been such a champion, as world number one for 361 weeks.

"Tennis needs new number ones, new generations coming up, so I think it's just great."

As Vesely advances, second seed Andrey Rublev will fancy his chances of a second straight ATP Tour title after his win at the Open 13 Provence.

Rublev stretched his winning streak to seven matches in coming from behind to beat Mackenzie McDonald and make the semi-finals, where he will play Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated Jannik Sinner.

Novak Djokovic is delighted to be back in competitive action after he booked his spot in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic, whose decision not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 caused him to be deported from Australia on the eve of the year's first grand slam, eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti in his first match and made similarly light work of Karen Khachanov on Wednesday.

The world number one has won in Dubai on five occasions, last doing so in 2020, having elected against defending his title last year.

However, the Serbian is looking good to regain the crown in what is his first tournament on the ATP Tour in 2022, after he was unable to feature in Melbourne. 

Djokovic needed 98 minutes to see off Khachanov 6-3 7-6 (7-2) and tee up a quarter-final tie against qualifier Jiri Vesely.

"I missed it [playing competitively]. This is my life," Djokovic said, with his previous competitive appearances coming in the Davis Cup Finals in November and December.

"This is what I have known for the past 20 years. Tennis is my love. I enjoy bringing positive energy and memories for people who watch."

It was not all plain sailing for Djokovic, who offered up four break points, but the 34-year-old clawed back three of them.

"I was feeling excited and motivated," added Djokovic, who has progressed to the quarters in Dubai every time he has featured at the tournament.

"But also at the same time I was feeling stressed. Particularly at the moments when I was facing break points. I thought the atmosphere in the stadium was terrific."

Djokovic, who will lose his place at the top of the ATP rankings if Daniil Medvedev triumphs in Acapulco, should have little trouble in sealing a semi-final spot, though Vesely does come into that tie on the back of a surprise 6-2 6-4 win over world number 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, who had triumphed in Doha last week.

Murray falls short of landmark win

Second seed Andrey Rublev came from a set down to defeat Kwon Soon-woo 4-6 6-0 6-3, and will go up against American Mackenzie McDonald for a place in the last four.

There was no such joy for former world number one Andy Murray, however, who fell to Jannik Sinner 7-5 6-2.

"It is a special feeling [to share the court with Murray]," said Sinner, who will next face Hubert Hurkacz, a 6-3 6-2 winner over Alex Molcan.

"He is a legend. Winning three grand slams, many, many tournaments and he has had some unfortunate moments with surgeries. His fighting spirit is incredible.

Murray was chasing a 700th tour-level win of his career but failed to muster a single break opportunity against the Italian, who made it to the quarter-finals in Melbourne last month.

Jannik Sinner saved three match points to avoid a shock defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

After losing the first set, the world number 10 staved off defeat in a nerve-wracking second-set tie-break.

The fourth seed clung on as Davidovich Fokina saw a trio of opportunities to clinch a shock win go begging, the Spaniard made to pay as his Italian counterpart fought back to prevail 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Sinner, who will next face former world number one Andy Murray, said: "It was a very tough match. I know him, but we've never played against each other.

"It was the first time for both of us and it was a tricky one, saving three match points. On the first one I got lucky because it was out, but not so far [out]."

Second favourite Andrey Rublev won both the singles and doubles titles in Marseille last week and continued his fine form with a 6-4 7-5 win over Daniel Evans that saw the Russian send down 28 winners.

Sixth seed Denis Shapovalov had to recover from a set down to see off Marton Fucsovics, though fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz enjoyed a more routine straight-sets triumph over Alexander Bublik.

Eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut made relatively light work of Arthur Rinderknech but defending champion and seventh seed Aslan Karatsev was stunned 7-5 6-3 by Mackenzie McDonald.

Karen Khachanov needed a little shy of three hours to beat Alex de Minaur, his dubious reward a second-round clash with Novak Djokovic as the world number one continues his return to the Tour following his controversial Australian Open absence.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

Former world number one Andy Murray did not like how Novak Djokovic was treated in Australia but says the 20-time major winner must live with the consequences of his decisions.

Murray and Djokovic both progressed through the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

The Serbian's 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti marked his first on the ATP Tour in 2022, coming in the wake of his deportation from Australia due to his vaccination status ahead of the first major of the calendar year.

It remains unclear if Djokovic will be permitted to compete at this year's other majors - the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - given he remains unvaccinated.

"Like I said at the time, I don't agree with his decision. I think it would be a lot easier for him, obviously, if he was to get vaccinated," Murray told reporters after beating Australian Christopher O'Connell 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 in Dubai.

"But I also didn't like seeing him in the situation that he was in Australia as someone that I respect and have known since I was a child. I didn't like seeing that.

"There is consequences to the decisions he's made just now. He obviously has to accept that. But I don't think it's great for tennis if our best player is not competing in the major events."

Djokovic admitted after his win over Musetti that, as it stands, he cannot enter the United States to compete at next month's prestigious Indian Wells Masters, let alone the US Open.

The world number one added that he was hopeful the situation may change "in the next few weeks".

Novak Djokovic has said he cannot currently enter the United States, putting his participation in next month's Indian Wells Masters in doubt.

Djokovic won his first match back on the ATP Tour since missing the Australian Open on Monday, beating Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The men's world number one had not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

He showed no signs of rust as he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Musetti in just 74 minutes in his first match of 2022, hitting five aces, winning an impressive 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving all seven break points he faced against his Italian opponent.

However, at a press conference following his victory, Djokovic admitted he is currently unable to enter the United States, and is therefore on course to miss March's prestigious Indian Wells Masters tournament.

"As of today, not. I can't go, I can't enter the United States," he said.

"As of today I'm not able to play. But let's see what happens. I mean, maybe things change in the next few weeks."

Djokovic has been included on the entry list for Indian Wells despite the tournament requiring all players are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Images of Djokovic do not appear in any of the tournament's build-up social media posts nor on the website's promotional announcement, while his entry-list inclusion was little more than a footnote – though did include him.

The statement read: "A power-packed line-up of ATP top-10 players will join [Rafael] Nadal in looking to put together a breakthrough performance in Tennis paradise.

"2021 US Open champion and 2022 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev (world no. 2), 2021 ATP Finals winner Alexander Zverev (world no. 3), and 2021 French Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas (world no. 4) will each be in search of their maiden title in the desert.

"Reigning BNP Paribas Open champion Cameron Norrie (world no. 13) will look to replicate his extraordinary 2021 title run, in which he won his first Masters 1000 crown.

"World no. 1 and five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic is also on the tournament entry list."

Novak Djokovic won his first match back on the ATP Tour since missing the Australian Open, beating Lorenzo Musetti in the round of 32 at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The men's world number one had not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

On Monday, he eased to a 6-3 6-3 win over Musetti in just 74 minutes in his first match of 2022, hitting five aces, winning an impressive 71 per cent of his second serves (17 out of 24) and saving all seven break points he faced against the Italian.

"All in all, it's a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months," Djokovic said on court after the win.

"Of course, there were moments when I played great, there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it's normal to expect that [in my] first match after a while."

Djokovic will play the winner of Karen Khachanov against Alex de Minaur in the last 16.

Andy Murray is also through after a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 win against Australian qualifier Christopher O'Connell. The Scot edged a tough match that lasted almost three hours, saving seven of eight break points faced. He will play either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or Jannik Sinner next.

Elsewhere, Jiri Vesely overcame Marin Cilic 6-4 7-6 (7-3), while Filip Krajinovic beat Malek Jaziri 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 and Taro Daniel eliminated David Goffin after a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win.

Novak Djokovic says he will play at whatever tournament will have him as he gears up to make his return to the ATP Tour.

The men's world number one has not played a competitive match since early December and was last month deported from Australia on the eve of the Australian Open.

That decision was a result of Djokovic opting not to join the majority of his tennis peers in getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and amid controversy over how he handled getting the virus himself in December.

Speaking to the BBC in a recent interview, Djokovic stated he was prioritising his right to choose what to put into his body above his sporting ambitions and confirmed he is willing to miss further grand slams if necessary.

With COVID restrictions still in place in many countries, Djokovic acknowledges his options to play are limited.

"I just have to follow the rules. You know, whatever tournament that I'm able to play, I will be trying to get to that country and play the tournament," Djokovic said ahead of facing Lorenzo Musetti in round one of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

"Obviously, I'm not intending to play the full schedule and that wasn't also my intention, as you brought it up and my goal prior to this season or the season before, and I was trying to aim to play my best at the grand slams and some of the 1000 events we have, of course, and playing for my country, those were the biggest motivations that I had in terms of the scheduling. 

"Right now, the situation is obviously different for me. So, I really can't choose right now. It's really about where I can go and play. So, wherever I have an opportunity, I'll be using probably that opportunity and going to play because this is what I do, it's what I love to do still. 

"And I have support from my family and my team is still there with me and that's what's important for me because obviously it was not easy for anyone in my surroundings to go through these kinds of circumstances and situations that we have been through.

"But it's very exciting to have everyone together here with me. And in Dubai, we're back on the tour and then we'll play this tournament and we'll see how it goes further down the line."

Several stars backed the decision for Djokovic to be barred from playing in Melbourne, with most noting that he had not followed the rules in order to do so.

But the Serbian says he has been received warmly ahead of his return to the ATP Tour.

"I haven't seen too many players, but the players that I've seen have been positive and welcoming," he added.

"And it's nice to see obviously. I can't say that was the case in Australia. It was a little bit strange, but here it's well so far."

Page 1 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.