Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Day 3: Andy Murray defeated in second round

All the reports and reaction from the second round of the ATP 500 tournament

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Day 3 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is all about the second round as the remaining 16 players battle to reach the quarter-finals.

Three former champions remain in the draw as 2017 winner Andy Murray opens Centre Court against Italian fourth seed Jannik Sinner, before world No 1 Novak Djokovic leads the evening session against Russia's Karen Khachanov aiming to continue his bid for a sixth title. Over on Court One, Spanish eighth seed and 2018 winner Roberto Bautista Agut competes in the final match of the day against Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely.

Shapovalov marches on

Denis Shapovalov marched into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-finals with a convincing straight sets win over Japan's Taro Daniel in the last match on Centre Court.

After being pushed the distance in his opening round by Marton Fucsovics, this was a more comfortable outing for the Canadian sixth seed, who earned the only break of the first set in the seventh game.

Shapovalov broke twice in succession in the second set as part of a four-game winning streak that sent him through to the last eight, where he will take on Ricardas Berankis following the Lithuanian's 6-4, 7-6 victory over Australia's Alexei Popyrin.

Djokovic comes through Khachanov test

Top seed Novak Djokovic kept alive his bid for a sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after coming through a thrilling second round clash against Russia's Karen Khachanov.

Djokovic, playing in his first tournament of the season, moved into the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over the world No 26 following a match packed with quality from both players.

The 34-year-old Serb looked to be on course for a routine win having followed up a comfortable first set with a 3-1 lead in the second, but Khachanov threw caution to the wind and unloaded some big shots to force his way back into the contest and earned his break back to level at 4-4.

The set, and ultimately the match, was decided in a tiebreak and Djokovic clinched the victory with a stunning return on the Khachanov serve.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion next faces Jiri Vesely in the last eight after the Czech qualifier produced a shock win over Spanish eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4 over on Court One.

Rublev rallies to advance

Andrey Rublev fought back from dropping the first set against South Korea's Soonwoo Kwon to advance to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships quarter-finals 4-6, 6-0, 6-3.

The Russian second seed, who arrived in Dubai early Tuesday morning after winning the title in Marseille and played his first round match later that evening, was slow out of the blocks as Kwon broke in the first game of the match. The Korean was rock solid on serve and eventually closed out the set without facing a break point.

The second set was a different story, though, as Rublev quickly established his dominance and after three straight breaks, swept the world No 60 to level the match.

Rublev only needed one break in the deciding set, coming in the fourth game, and the world No 7 sealed the win on his first match point after one hour and 43 minutes. He will face Mackenzie McDonald in the quarter-finals after the American continued his fine form in Dubai, following up his opening round win over defending champion Aslan Karatsev by defeating Serbia's Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6.

Sinner gets his revenge

Andy Murray was defeated in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after fourth seed Jannick Sinner claimed a fairly comfortable 7-5, 6-2 victory in the first match on Centre Court.

Sinner lost his previous meeting with Murray at the Stockholm Open last season, but the 20-year-old Italian was much the better player in Dubai, particularly in the second set. Most of the first set went with serve until former world No 1 Murray was broken in the 11th game and allowed Sinner to serve it out.

The second set, though, was one-way traffic as Sinner broke in the first and fifth games to establish a 5-1 lead and he closed out the victory having not faced any break points after one hour and 43 minutes.

"I lost the last match to him so I tried to stay focused on my game," Sinner said. "I think I played well, especially in the first set and during some difficult moments, so I'm very happy."

On facing Murray, Sinner said: "He's a legend; winning three Grand Slams and many, many more tournaments. He's had so many unfortunate moments, many surgeries, so his fighting spirit is incredible. I wish him the best of luck."

The world No 10 will take on Hubert Hurkacz in Thursday's quarter-finals after the Polish fifth seed cruised past Slovakian qualifier Alex Moclan 6-3, 6-2.

Updated: February 23, 2022, 6:53 PM
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