In shades of his semi-final contest against Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer rallied from a set and a break down to defeat former finalist Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for a record sixth time.
The competitors exchanged breaks of serve early on in the contest, with Federer jumping to a 2-1 lead before Berdych broke back at 2-2. He followed up with another break of serve over the Swiss No. 2 for a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Both players would holds their following service games to close of the set 6-3 for Berdych. The Czech No. 1 would silence the pro-Federer crowd early in the second set as he jumped to a lead with a break, before Federer broke back to level the scoreline. He would soon take a lead of his own to finish the set 6-4 and push the match to a decider.
The third set featured a variety of break point opportunities for both players, yet the first one was achieved in the fourth game, when Berdych missed a forehand shot. Federer would go on to secure the 6-3 victory in the final set and earn just his second title in the last 18 months.
“Things definitely went my way out here tonight, but I have had a lot tougher matches in the last one and a half years, so this is nice to get a lucky break again.”
Apart from avenging his semi-final loss to Berdych last year, Federer also lifted his sixth title in Dubai and earned 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points and $465,830 for his efforts.
The 32-year-old has now won 78 tour-level titles, which puts him 1 title ahead of John McEnroe to standalone as third in the all-time title list. He currently sits behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.