ATP Dubai Tennis Championships: Roger Federer beats Tomas Berdych to land title
Last Updated: 02/03/14 3:10pm
Roger Federer produced another sublime comeback to defeat Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-4 6-3 and land his sixth Dubai title.
Federer, who showed an enterprising new side to his game as he beat Novak Djokovic for the first time in 18 months in the semi-final on Friday, reproduced his form in the final.
It was his 78th ATP title, but only his second in the last 18 months.
After the players traded early breaks in the third and fourth games of the match, third-seeded Berdych held serve before overpowering his opponent to move 4-2 up.
The Czech star, who arrived in Dubai having won his first title in over a year at Rotterdam two weeks ago, sealed the opening set by winning an impressive 88 per cent of his first serve points.
Berdych was making good use of the court and forcing Federer into the shadows with a dominant and confident display in a slow-burner of a contest.
The Czech, beaten by Novak Djokovic in last year's showpiece encounter, took advantage of an out of sorts Federer to move a break ahead in the second set.
However, the 32-year-old Swiss, now down at No 8 in the world rankings, did not read the script and gathered himself by playing percentage tennis of the highest order to turn the contest on its head and take it into a decider.
The record 17-time Grand Slam title winner outmaneuvered Berdych in the fourth game and then consolidated the break to move 4-1 ahead.
Swiss legend Federer ended Berdych's 11 match winning streak by serving out the match in style to win in one hour 58 minutes.
Victory moved Federer above John McEnroe's total of 77 ATP titles into third place in the all-time list, behind only Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors.
It also helped the Grand Slam record-holder to maintain his belief that even at 32, he has another major in him.
"It's the mental belief that you're gonna win instead of losing - I think that's what I got back right now," said Federer, after lifting his first trophy since Halle in June last year.
"I got a little lucky. I just fought well and I couldn't be more happy with the outcome.
"I was able to stay calm and once I got back on even terms I started to play better. I really enjoy playing against Tomas, who is a great player and has had a great streak."