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Top seed Djokovic, Tsitsipas advance

Agence France-Presse



NOVAK Djokovic is unbetean in 15 games this season. KARIM SAHIB/Agence France-Presse

DUBAI (AFP) — Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas powered into the Dubai Championships quarterfinals with runaway victories on Wednesday.

World number one Djokovic eased to his 15th straight win of the season with a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of Philipp Kohlschreiber in only 61 minutes.

Greek star Tsitsipas, who won the Marseille title last weekend, dispatched Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

Third seed Gael Monfils also eased through, beating Japanese qualifier Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-1, 6-2.

Djokovic, aiming for a fifth Dubai trophy, reached the last eight with his 12th win over the 36-year-old Kohlschreiber in 14 meetings.

“I was very sharp from the beginning, mentally,” the Serbian said. “It took me a first few games to get used to the tricky conditions.”

“It was pretty windy on the court, changing directions all the time. It was not really easy to get the rhythm.”

“You have to take Philipp seriously regardless of his ranking (80th). He has tremendous experience of playing on a big stage. He actually likes this kind of challenge.”

“I knew I’d have to be sharp, stay focused all the way till the end, not allow him to feel like he has a chance to come back to the match — that’s what happened.”

Djokovic will play seventh seed Karen Khachanov on Thursday after the Russian beat Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak 6-3, 6-4.

Tsitsipas next takes on German Jan-Lennard Struff, a 6-1, 6-0 winner against Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Tsitsipas, still recovering after his flight from France, said: “Right now I feel a bit sleepy. It’s because I sleep late every day.”

“It’s difficult for me with the jetlag. On the other hand, I’m playing pretty relaxed. I feel my body (is) flexible.”

“I feel my mobility is good. I’m not really tight, which is good.”

Victory backed up the second seed’s defeat of Bublik last Saturday in the Marseille semifinals.

“I’m trying to keep it well-balanced,” he said. “I don’t want to give too much out there, I want to compromise.”

“It’s great being in a position where I am right now, number six in the world, trying to get better every single day.”

Monfils will bid to reach a third consecutive semifinal against compatriot Richard Gasquet, who won an all-French battle with Benoit Paire 6-4, 6-4.