World No. 1 Novak Djokovic looks to extend his unbeaten start to the season when he faces German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round of Dubai on Wednesday night.
?? Novak Djokovic vs ?? Philipp Kohlschreiber Match Info
Date: Wednesday February 26
Tournament: ATP Dubai R2
Court: Centre Court
Time: 7.00pm local time (3.00pm GMT)
Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber Head-to-Head
Djokovic leads 11-2
2019 | Wimbledon R128 | Djokovic 6-3 7-5 6-3
2019 | Rome R16 | Djokovic 6-3 6-0
2019 | Monte Carlo R32 | Djokovic 6-3 4-6 6-4
2019 | Indian Wells R32 | Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4
2016 | Indian Wells R32 | Djokovic 7-5 7-5
2015 | Wimbledon R128 | Djokovic 6-4 6-4 6-4
2014 | Paris R32 | Djokovic 6-3 6-4
2014 | US Open R16 | Djokovic 6-1 7-5 6-4
2014 | Rome R16 | Djokovic 4-6 6-2 6-1
2013 | French Open R16 | Djokovic 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4
2010 | Indian Wells R32 | Djokovic 6-3 2-6 7-6(3)
2009 | French Open R32 | Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-4 6-4
2008 | Indian Wells R32 | Djokovic 6-3 6-2
Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber Match Preview
Djokovic and Kohlschreiber resume their 12-year rivalry on Wednesday night with a place in the Dubai quarter-finals on the line.
A four-time champion in Dubai, Djokovic started his campaign in flawless fashion, dispatching Malek Jaziri by a routine 6-1 6-2 scoreline in exactly one hour. The Serbian fired 22 winners and didn’t face a break point during the dominant opening round victory, improving his record in Dubai to 37-6 and extending his unbeaten start to 2020 to 14-0.
“It’s a great way to start out the tournament,” said Djokovic. “As I’ve said in the press conference prior to the tournament, I miss playing here. I really enjoy it. I enjoy night sessions… I think I’ve done everything as well as I imagined it to be for the first match. Of course, there’s things that always can be improved, things that can be better. But I have to be satisfied with the performance.”
Djokovic took home the Dubai title in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, but he hasn’t been able to reign supreme at the ATP 500 tournament in seven years. However, in his current form and with Roger Federer withdrawing injured after knee surgery, it will take a special performance from someone this week to stop the World No. 1 from landing his fifth Dubai crown.
After a disappointing end to 2019 in which he retired from the U.S. Open, was eliminated in the ATP Finals group stage and relinquished the No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal, Djokovic has bounced back with the strongest possible start to 2020, leading Serbia to victory in the inaugural ATP Cup – defeating the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Nadal back-to-back – before capturing his 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, conquering Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals before recovering from two-sets-to-one down against Dominic Thiem in the final.
Can the Serbian continue his unbeaten run to launch 2020 by taking home the Dubai title this week?
Kohlschreiber stands in his way in the second round. The German veteran is competing in Dubai for the 11th time, with his best result coming in 2014 when he made the semi-finals, while he was also involved in a memorable match in the 2017 quarter-finals, missing out on seven match points and losing the second set tiebreak 20-18 before falling away in the decider. Coming into this year’s tournament on the back of just one tour-level victory for 2020 so far, Kohlschreiber overcome Egyptian wildcard Mohamed Safwat 4-6 6-4 6-0 to set up Wednesday’s clash with Djokovic.
One of the most consistent and ever-present players on tour for well over a decade now, Kohlschreiber has been ranked inside the top 100 every week since March 2006, with the 36-year-old winning eight ATP titles and claiming a total of 25 top 10 scalps throughout his career, also reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2012 and five Masters 1000 quarter-finals. Naturally, Kohlschreiber’s results have regressed in recent times, but he did enjoy a milestone moment last year in Indian Wells, becoming the oldest player since 1990 to beat a World No. 1 for the first time when he took out Djokovic.
Kohlschreiber started 2020 by winning the Canberra Challenger, but he was forced to withdraw injured in the second round of the Australian Open and only returned in Rotterdam, where he qualified for bowing out to Dan Evans in the main draw.
Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber Prediction
As mentioned, Kohlschreiber did beat Djokovic last year in Indian Wells, but that was when the Serbian was struggling considerably. Djokovic won their other three meetings last year and is in blistering form to launch 2020. Kohlschreiber didn’t really trouble Djokovic at the peak of his powers, so it’s unlikely he’s going to do it now.