Dubai ATP: Vesely knocks out Djokovic out of color | Tennis News

DUBAI: Novak Djokovic’s return match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week came against an unsuspecting Czech Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals on Thursday. The Serbian, playing only his third match in three months, relied on home energy, chants of ‘Noo-Vaak, Noo-Vaak, Noo-Vaak’, a plea, a prayer, however, could not rise to the challenge.
Djokovic, who won just 10 points on the towering left-hander’s second serve in two hours, lost 4-6, 6-7(4) in the qualifier.
Djokovic, however, was quick to throw his weight behind Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who was pulled from the ATP tournament in Acapulco earlier in the week after repeatedly knocking on chair umpire Alessandro’s seat. Germani after his doubles defeat.
The 34-year-old Serb, who shares a close bond with the 24-year-old, backed Zverev’s apology on social media, where the German took responsibility for his ‘unacceptable’ conduct. “He said it all in that statement, he realizes it was a mistake. I understand the frustration on the pitch, in the heat of the moment you get a lot of emotions, different things go through your head “Djokovic said. , who was kicked out of the 2020 US Open when he inadvertently hit a lineswoman. “I made mistakes. I had tantrums on the pitch. I don’t justify his actions. He, with the words he had in the statement, handled the situation in the right way.”
“The disqualification decision wasn’t too harsh. I hope he can reflect on this and never let something like this happen again in his life,” Djokovic said. “I’m sure he’ll approach it with maturity.”
Djokovic, however, refused to back a suspension or even a hefty fine for Zverev, saying it was not his decision to make. “I will never encourage the ATP to disqualify or fine a player because I am unable to do so,” he said. “Everyone is a human being. Everyone has flaws and can make mistakes.”
At a time when the stands are the sport’s new baseline, second-seeded Andrey Rublev this week endorsed peace as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatened to smear the lines. The world number 7, who took to social media with figures in the colors of both nations hugging each other, said nothing is more important than peace and unity.
The Russian, who rallied to score a 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 against American Mackenzie McDonald, said: “In those moments you understand that no matter how hard you could have a bad day, the most important thing is to have clear skies and be healthy.”
Rublev, who linked Ukrainian veteran Denys Molchanov to the title at Marseille, is a popular figure in the dressing room.
“It’s not about my game, how it affects me. What’s happening is much more terrible,” Rublev said. “You realize how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other, to be united no matter what. We should take care of our land and each other.”
In another upset, fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland ousted fourth seed Jannik Sinner of Italy 6-3, 6-3.


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