Murray dethrones Djokovic
British No.1 stuns Serb to advance to face Federer in final
By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs. Last Updated: 03/03/12 6:53pm
Andy Murray gained a portion of revenge for his Australian Open defeat to Novak Djokovic with a stunning straight-sets victory over the Serb to reach the final of the Dubai Championships.
The British number one produced a hardcourt masterclass to advance to the final of this event for the first time, coming through 6-2 7-5 in one hour 22 minutes.
He will now face Roger Federer - who is aiming for his fifth Dubai title but first in five years - in the final.
Murray broke Djokovic four times in total, twice in each set, and the victory goes some way to easing the pain of his heartbreaking five-set defeat to his rival in the semi-final at Melbourne Park earlier in the year.
Integral to Murray's fifth victory in 12 meetings with Djokovic was his imperious serving display throughout.
The 24-year-old Scot won a staggering 94 per cent of points in which his first serve found the target in the first set, a set he wrapped up courtesy of two breaks of serve.
His first came in the sixth game when Djokovic, champion at the event for the past three years, put a forehand long to gift his opponent a 4-2 lead.
Murray then held off two break points in the next game before breaking again in the eighth, with a backhand winner ending a long rally to take the opening set in 30 minutes.
Djokovic continued to wobble at the start of the second set, and quickly found himself another break behind in game two after hitting a wild forehand long.
Murray held serve in the next to take a 3-0 lead, but his Serbian opponent finally stopped the rot in game four by holding to love.
Djokovic appeared to be growing in confidence again but Murray managed to keep his nose in front and open up a 5-2 advantage.
That left Djokovic serving to stay in the match, a feat he achieved, and the top seed built on that success in game nine when a forehand into the net from Murray allowed the Serbian to break back.
But his joy was shortlived as Murray found himself with two match points in the 12th game and he sealed a place in the final thanks to a weak shot into the net from Djokovic.
Meanwhile, Federer edged Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6) to book his place in Saturday's final.
Del Potro missed four set-points in the second-set tie-breaker at 6-2, with Federer winning the last six points to progress.
The Swiss said: "I hung in there and I thought I played a good match. He almost pulled the first set 'breaker back from 2-6, and there was little between us tonight. I just fought well and got a little lucky.
"It's good to see Juan back and it's good to be in another final. It's also nice to play again against Andy as I don't think we played at all last year."