Roger Federer is through to his second final of the season, this time in Dubai, where he will meet world No. 6 Tomas Berdych for an opportunity to lift his sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Of their 17 previous contests, Federer holds a 11-6 lead over Berdych in the head-to-head series, yet Berdych won their last meeting, which took place in the semi-final stage of this event last year.
17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer played arguably his best match so far this season on Friday evening in Dubai, dispatching of world No. 2 Novak Djokovic in three sets to reach yet another final at this ATP 500 event. Federer took an aggressive approach throughout the match, hitting a variety of net shots, volleys and cross court forehands to bother Djokovic throughout the match. He would drop the opening set 6-3, but would recover magnificently to win the following two sets 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final.
The win was Federer’s 17th over the world No.2 and his first since the Cincinnati Masters event in 2012.
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych defeated Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber to advance to the finals of the Dubai Open. The Czech No. 1’s 7-5, 7-5 victory over Kohlschreiber means that he will be contesting his second consecutive final in Dubai, after finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic last season. Berdych also extended his winning streak to eleven consecutive matches, including a title victory at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam two weeks ago.
“It was definitely not me [at the start of the match], and it was a really horrible start to the game,” said Berdych. “But I managed to refocus and stay there, stay calm, and wait for my chance, which in the end I got. I was ready for it, so I took the first set. Philipp was serving really well [in the second set], very solid, didn’t give me many chances at all on his serve. Then I got my one chance in the last game and I took it.”
The two competitors have previously met on 17 different occasions on the professional circuit, with Federer winning 11 of those 17 matches dating back to his first victory at the Athens Olypmics in 2004. While this may be the case, Berdych defeated Federer in their most recent encounter, which took place in the semi-final stage of this event in Dubai. This will likely be another three set battle, yet this time with Federer on the winning side to lift his sixth trophy in Dubai and his first in 2014.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Three Sets