(Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic eased past Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to lift his fifth Dubai Tennis Championships title on Saturday, extending his unbeaten start to the 2020 season.
Both players looked solid on serve early in the opening set before Djokovic turned the screw to break in the eighth game with a searing crosscourt backhand winner.
The Serb closed out the set and continued to press home his advantage with another break of serve early in the second.
Tsitsipas fought back to draw level at 3-3 but went on to commit a string of unforced errors and concede two break points in the ninth game.
Djokovic surprised his opponent with a wonderfully disguised drop shot to take the lead before sealing victory on the first of his three championship points with a backhand winner down the line.
“It was very close even though it was a straight-set win,” said Djokovic, who also won the Dubai titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
“I was fortunate to hold my serve at the start of the match.”
Djokovic has now won 21 straight matches, including 18 this season, having already lifted the inaugural ATP Cup with Serbia and a record-extending eighth Australian Open title last month.
The 32-year-old dropped just one set in Dubai this week as he fought off three match points to overcome Frenchman Gael Monfils in the semi-finals.
“Yesterday I was one shot away from losing the match when three match points down, and it could have easily happened I was not here. That is sport – things can turnaround quickly,” said Djokovic.
“I have played really well in most of the matches. This is a big win for me.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Tony Lawrence)