ATP Dubai Tennis Championships: Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic to reach final

Last Updated: 01/03/14 10:15am

  • Share:
Roger Federer: Rolled back the years to defeat Novak Djokovic in Dubai

Roger Federer: Rolled back the years to defeat Novak Djokovic in Dubai

Sky Bet

Roger Federer rolled back the years to produce a stirring comeback against Novak Djokovic and reach the final of the Dubai Open.

The 32-year-old fought back from a set down with a masterclass of tennis to secure a 3-6 6-3 6-2 victory in one hour 50 minutes to dethrone the defending champion.

Federer remains on course for his sixth title in Dubai and next faces Tomas Berdych in Saturday's final.

Federer rarely troubled the world No 2 in the first set and the pivotal moment came at 2-2 in the second when the Swiss saved a break point with a delicious backhand pass.

The 17-times grand slam champion went on to hold serve and then broke in a rain-interrupted game - the players leaving the court for only a few minutes - with a backhand bullet from the baseline.

Federer clinched the set with an ace before Djokovic, 26, double-faulted in the first game of the decider to gift his opponent a crucial early break.

He broke again in the fifth game, although he had to save two break points when serving for the match before holding his nerve to seal victory.

The Swiss legend now holds a 17-15 lead in head-to-head matches with Djokovic after to his first victory over the Serb in four matches.


"There was a buzz out there tonight, and I was able to enjoy myself with that crowd," Federer said.

"For some reason I had a tough start but the crowd kept pushing me on and I played well. It's a quick court so I am always trying to be aggressive."

The 17-time Grand Slam winner was asked when he might be back to his best after a difficult 2013.

"I hope it's now," he said. "It's all happening. Beating Novak on the hard courts here in Dubai, it's tough. This is a big step in the right direction for me. It gives me a lot of confidence."

World No 6 Berdych continued his new-found run of good form when he reached the final for the second successive year.

Last year's runner-up had not won an ATP Tour title for 16 months until he won Rotterdam this month, but the 7-5 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, the seventh-seeded German was his 16th win in 17 matches.

Equally crucially Berdych was able to impose breaks of serve when it mattered most, at the end of each set, leaving his fluent but lighter-weight opponent with no chance to repair the damage.

"It feels absolutely great," he said "I am pleased with today because it was a really tough win. It's a pleasure getting to the final again here, a tournament which has such a strong field.

"My rhythm is much better than it was. It is important for me to be hitting the ball nicely and then my game really works."

  • Share:


ATP Dubai Tennis Championships 2014

Novak Djokovic of Serbia answers questions during the BNP Paribas Showdown Press Conference

On the slide?

We take a look back at the contrasting fortunes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in Dubai.

Roger Federer: Produced another stirring comeback to beat Tomas Berdych

Federer wins sixth Dubai title

Roger Federer produced another sublime comeback to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-4 6-3 and land his sixth Dubai title.

Novak Djokovic didn't even hit a ball in Dubai

No sweat for Novak

World No 1 Novak Djokovic made the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships without hitting a ball on Thursday.

Related Profiles

Most Popular


Good Week/Bad Week

Good Week/Bad Week

So long is a week in the sporting world, one can rise to fame while another can fall from grace.

Sit-down with Rafa

Sit-down with Rafa

Sign in to hear Rafael Nadal discuss his 2015 hopes, recent injury set-backs and the ATP Tour Finals.

Fed at his finest

Fed at his finest

Barry Cowan explains how Shanghai master Roger Federer is playing the best tennis of his stellar career.