Dubai Tennis Championships: Novak Djokovic defeats Tomas Berdych in straight sets
Last Updated: March 3, 2013 11:07am
Novak Djokovic: Extended his winning streak to 18 matches after victory in Dubai
Novak Djokovic recorded his fourth victory in five years at the Dubai Tennis Championships after defeating Tomas Berdych in straight sets in the final.
The world No 1 extended his winning streak to 18 matches thanks to a 7-5 6-3 victory in one hour and 34 minutes.
Djokovic, who did not drop a set in the tournament, claimed his 36th career title in his 55th final thanks to a powerful all-court display against his opponent who made too many unforced errors.
After some high-octane tennis in the early exchanges, Berdych had Djokovic on the back-foot after earning the first break-point of the match in the fifth game of the opening set. And the third seed took his opportunity with a delightful whipped crosscourt forehand winner to move 3-2 ahead.
He failed to capitalise though as the Serb struck back in the eighth game, taking his opportunity at the second attempt to level at 4-4 as the third-seed netted a straightforward volley.
Djokovic fell awkwardly stretching for the ball at the back of the court, but he still managed to save three break-points on serve in the next game.
And then the No 1 seed ramped up the pressure at 6-5 with Berdych double-faulting at 15-40 to gift Djokovic the set in 51 minutes.
In the second set Djokovic looked to dictate play from the baseline, but his opponent held firm and showed some of the fighting spirit which saw him knock out last year's champion Roger Federer on Friday.
He earned break points in the seventh game of the set only to see the three-time Australian Open winner close the door. But, the Serbian was then gifted a crucial second break of the match in the next game after a Berdych overhead smash fell into the tramlines.
And Djokovic held his nerve to record victory with an unreturnable forehand on his second championship point to claim the £285,000 top prize.
"It's a thrilling feeling to prevail in the end in a great tournament like this," said the 25-year-old, who is unbeaten since October. "Tomas is a fantastic player and he beat Federer in an incredible match. It was very close today and could have gone either way."
He has now won all 13 matches against top 10 opponents since Andy Murray defeated him in last year's US Open final.