Tomas Berdych pulled off a stunning comeback and defeated Roger Federer in Dubai 2013 semifinal. He will challenge Novak Djokovic to lift the trophy.
The third-seeded Czech made his way into Dubai final after a heroic battle against second seed Federer at fully-packed Center Court. The Swiss Maestro produced two match balls at the end of the second set, yet he could not finish off his resilient opponent.
FedEx was the first to get himself into trouble at 1-1 in the opening set, but rescued two break points on second serve. Berdych was in a similar situation in the next game as he managed to hold only after averting three break balls and hitting and ace down the middle to make it 2-2. A break finally arrived in the eighth game – Federer went 5-3 up and confirmed it with a love hold, wrapping the set up with a service winner.
The second set was full of breathtaking turnarounds. First, Federer suffered a loss of serve to fall 4-2 behind, yet he prevented the 6th-ranked Czech to serve the set out at 5-3. He consolidated the re-break with a game to love to make it 5-5 and was now in psychological advantage. Berdych was under pressure again in his next service game, but saved three break points and regained some of his confidence as well. He generated a set ball in the follow-up game at 30-40 and was extremely unlucky not to convert it as Federer’s shot was clearly out, yet it was not called. Berdych started a short discussion with the umpire, but it came to nothing and the breaker followed after he conceded a couple of unforced errors. The Czech calmed down after falling 0-2 behind, while FedEx also started making mistakes. Even so, he had a couple of match ball at his disposal, yet it was Berdych who converted his third set ball with a nicely executed return.
Federer was on the back foot for most of the decider, especially since conceding a break at 2-3. He almost went 5-2 down on three occasions, but avoided the second loss of serve to the joy of the stadium. Nevertheless, Berdych was serving perfectly now, while his rival was struggling to stay in the match at 5-3 – he did so after escaping two match balls. That did not bother Berdych though as he created a 40-0 advantage in the follow-up game with his eighth ace. It was all over after the next rally as Federer’s forehand landed in the net. The Czech squeezed into the Dubai 2013 final with a 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 glorious victory, the second one in a row over the World No. 2.