ATP Dubai round-up: Djokovic pulls out of tournament

The world no.1 was down a set against Feliciano Lopez before an eye injury caused him to retire.

ATP Dubai round-up: Djokovic pulls out of tournament
Djokovic's remarkable run of 17 consecutive finals was unfortunately came to an end. Image Credit: Getty.

It was quarter-final day at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, and there was a shock in store in the final match.

Djokovic retires in Dubai

World number one Novak Djokovic has pulled out of the tournament following a bothersome right eye injury that forced him to retire during his quarter-final match against Feliciano Lopez.

The Serbian was not himself as soon as the match got underway, with Lopez racing into an early lead, winning 11 of the first 13 points and breaking Djokovic's serve. It was a break he wouldn't relinquish, as he took the first set 6-3, only for Djokovic to retire immediately afterwards. It brings an end to the 11 time Grand Slam champion's remarkable run of 17 consecutive finals, falling one short of Ivan Lendl's Open Era record. It's the first time since Doha at the start of last year that Djokovic won't have reached a final.

Baghdatis beats Bautista Agut

Marcos Baghdatis will be Lopez's opponent for a place in Saturday's final after an impressive victory against in form Roberto Bautista Agut, the fourth seed who was in his fifth quarter-final of the year.

The opening set was a tight affair, with the first eight games going with serve. The Cypriot broke, but failed to close it out, only to break again. Despite numerous double faults, the former Australian Open finalist this time around did manage to serve out the opening set 7-5. Set number two couldn't have been anymore different, as Bautista Agut, uncharacteristically for 2016 anyway, spectacularly saw his game collapse, as Baghdatis handed out a bagel, to reach his second semi-final in Dubai (his first since 2010).

Kyrgios victorious over Berdych again

For the second consecutive week, Nick Kyrgios has beaten Tomas Berdych, after a 6-4, 6-4 victory to reach the last-four; the 20-year old defeated the Czech in the semi-finals in Marseille last week, on route to his first career title.

Berdych was looking to reach his fifth Dubai semi-final in the past six years, but just like in their meeting in the south of France on Saturday, the world no.7 was unable to break Kyrgios' serve. The Aussie started the match with back problems, yet broke the former Wimbledon finalist's serve in the opening game of the match, which ultimately won him the set. A single break was enough in the second set as well, meaning Kyrgios extends his winning streak to eight; he hasn't lost since losing to Berdych in the 3rd round of the Australian Open.

Frenemies collide in the first Dubai semi-final. Image Credit: The Guardian.
Frenemies collide in the first Dubai semi-final. Image Credit: The Guardian.

Wawrinka Overcomes Kohlschreiber

Kyrgios will now meet Stan Wawrinka in the semis, in what will be the pair's first meeting since their now infamous clash in Montreal last summer, where comments from the Aussie outshone the tennis itself, after the Swiss came past Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Since then, Kyrgios and Wawrinka have seemingly patched things up, even joining together and winning the IPTL title as part of the Singapore Slammers team at the back end of 2015. The French Open champ was twice a break up on his German opponent in the opener, only for the eighth seed to break back immediately. However, with the set seemingly on its way to a tiebreak, Wawrinka broke again to take it 7-5. The second set was cruise control for the world no.4, as he took it 6-1 to set-up a very intriguing clash with Kyrgios.