Novak Djokovic vs Mikhail Youzhny Preview – ATP Dubai 2014 QF

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Top seed Novak Djokovic is through to the quarter-final round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where he will meet Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny for the 10th time on the professional tour.  Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-3, winning their last three consecutive encounters dating back to 2010.

World No. 2 Novak Djokovic cruised into the quarter-final round in Dubai with a 6-1. 6-3 victory over Spain’sRoberto Bautista Agut. Djokovic stormed to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, before Agut was able to scramble to hold serve and prevent the bagel. The second set featured much of the same, and while Agut was playing quality tennis, he was simply overwhelmed by Djokovic’s precision and tenacity on court. The Serb’s victory sets up a clash with Mikhail Youzhny, who also had a quick match on Wednesday afternoon.

Following his straight sets victory over Poland’s Przysiezny in the opening round in Dubai, Youzhny followed up with another straight sets victory, this time over British wildcard entrant James Ward. The 177th ranked Ward beat Teymuraz Gabashvili on Monday to claim his first ATP victory outside the UK, but the sixth seed proved far too strong the following day, beating the Londoner 6-1 7-6 (7-3), hitting 4 aces and 82% of his points on first serve in the process. Youzhny will next encounter world No. 2 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final stage in Dubai.

This marks the tenth time Djokovic and Youzhny will meet on the professional circuit, with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series 6-3. The Russian lead the series until 2008, but would only win one more encounter in the five years following that last victory, while Djokovic would win five of six of their next meetings. The Serb has also won their last three consecutive outings dating back a 2010 encounter at the Dubai final, which Djokovic won in three sets. This meeting will likely be less competitive than their last one on this surface, as Djokovic has continued to improve since then, while Youzhny has plateaued considerably since that time.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic in Straight Sets 

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