Federer and Djokovic to meet in Dubai final

Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:10pm EST
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic beat Tomas Berdych 6-0 5-7 6-4 at the Dubai Championships on Friday to set up a dream final with Roger Federer.

The 27-year-old Djokovic entered Friday's contest with a 17-2 winning record against Berdych and the Serb dominated from the outset, breaking his Czech opponent three times in a 23-minute first set whitewash.

While Berdych fought back to take the match into a deciding set, Djokovic ultimately showed his class to set up 37th meeting with Federer, who earlier trounced Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-2 6-1 in the other semi-final.

“Credit to Tomas for coming back – he started to put more quality into his shots,” Djokovic said a courtside interview.

“Roger presents probably the biggest challenge.”

When a scorching return to Berdych’s feet put Djokovic 2-1 ahead with a break up in the second, the Serb appeared to be heading for a quick victory.

But the Czech, playing in a fourth successive semi-final in 2015, immediately leveled after Djokovic netted a forehand.

Djokovic called the trainer after slipping and seemingly injuring his fingers at the end of the 11th game and he was then broken for a third time, conceding the set with a netted backhand.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Borna Coric of Croatia during their semi-final match at the ATP Championships tennis tournament in Dubai, February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah