Medvedev tops Rublev in Dubai for third straight title

Daniil Medvedev has crushed his friend and fellow Russian rival Andrey Rublev in the Dubai Championships final, taking his 18th tour-level title and third in a row in successive weeks with a comprehensive 6-2 6-2 win.

The former world No.1 extended his winning streak to 14 matches on Saturday in a run that started on Valentine's Day and has 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.

"It is amazing because at the start of the year, it was not perfect. In tennis when you don't win matches you have doubts. Now it just feels better," Medvedev, who suffered a disappointing third-round exit at the Australian Open, said.

"I was really happy with these three weeks and I am looking forward to the next ones.

"I know Andrey can cause a lot of trouble to everyone on Tour. Every time we play he tries to make me suffer, I try to make him suffer. Today, I managed to be on top, but the next match could be a different story."

Defending champion Rublev quickly fell behind as he couldn't hold his serve in the opening game, as Medvedev continued the form that enabled him to sweep aside world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, handing him his first defeat of the year.

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

The 27-year-old Medvedev, who sent down nine aces and converted 57 per cent of the break points he won in the final, moves sixth in the ATP rankings, while Rublev drops to No.7.

"I think it's a good thing for Daniil that he's doing this, for his career, for his life, that he's achieving those things. Three titles in a row, it's unreal. What else to say?" Rublev shrugged at a post-match news conference.

With Reuters