Novak Djokovic admits he was left wishing Gael Monfils would struggle on serve after he fought back from three match points down to win their semi-final at the Dubai Championships.

In their previous 16 matches, Djokovic had never lost to Monfils and he cruised into the semi-finals without dropping a set.

But Monfils, who had won 12 matches in a row, took the game to Djokovic, winning the first set 6-2 and leading by a break in the second set.

Unsurprisingly Djokovic found his way again, storming back to give himself set points at 4-5 and 5-6 however Monfils stood firm.

In the tiebreak, Monfils brought up three match points at 6-3 but lost his nerve and Djokovic took advantage to stay in the match and on his eighth set point he finally forced a third set.

From that point onwards, Monfils was in trouble physically and unable to stay with Djokovic, who raced away with the set and completed a 2-6 7-6 6-1 win.

After the match, the world No 1 admitted he needed a bit of fortune to win his 17th consecutive match of the year.

He said: “It was truly an escape. He was clearly the best player for two sets and I was fortunate to work my way back into the set.

“I had set points at 5-4 and 6-5 but Gael I think is playing as well as he’s done ever.

“I wasn’t very successful with my set points, it shouldn’t have gotten to a tiebreak.

“In the tiebreak, he was 6-3 serving [for the match] and I was just hoping he would miss the first serve and that’s what happened on both match points.

“It gave me a chance to get into the rally and I played really well from that point onwards.”



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