Federer subdues Berdych to win sixth Dubai title

Sat Mar 1, 2014 3:16pm EST
 
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Roger Federer roared back from a set and a break down to subdue Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-4 6-3 in the Dubai Championships final on Saturday as the Swiss maestro sealed a 78th singles title.

Federer had recovered from a similar position to stun world number two Novak Djokovic in Friday's semi-final and the 32-year-old again struggled early on before he dug deep to claim a sixth Dubai crown.

"It was a tough match," fourth seed Federer said in a courtside interview. "Tomas had the advantage and could have, should have, brought it home, but maybe I got a little lucky."

Federer nursed a back injury for much of last season and has slumped to eighth in the rankings, his lowest position since 2002, but ahead of Dubai he claimed his best tennis was still to come.

With wins against top 10 opponents in successive days, the Swiss proved there may be some basis to his confidence.

"I have a lot of tennis in my body over the years.

"I'm just happy I'm healthy again and that I can focus on tactics and not on 'Am I feeling alright when I wake up tomorrow?," said Federer, whose latest title puts him one clear of John McEnroe and third on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

EARLY MISTAKES   Continued...

 
Roger Federer of Switzerland holds the trophy after defeating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in their men's singles final match at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships, March 1, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah