World no 123 Jiri Vesely defeated world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 57 minutes in the Dubai quarter-final. The five-time champion experienced by far the worst loss in the desert and stepped down from the ATP throne after over two years, sending Daniil Medvedev to the top.
Novak played well in the opening two matches, kicking off the season in Dubai but failing to go all the way, experiencing his second defeat against the Czech from as many encounters. Both players had around 30 winners and 15 unforced errors, and Vesely claimed three points more than Djokovic to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the first ATP semi-final since Pune 2020.