• Dubai Tennis Championships

Clinical Federer sees off Djokovic

ESPN staff
February 28, 2014
Before Friday's win, Roger Federer had lost nine of the last 12 to Novak Djokovic © Getty Images

A dominant service display saw Roger Federer come from a set down to earn his first win over Novak Djokovic in almost two years at the Dubai Championships.

Fourth seed Federer has lost nine of the last 12 meetings with Djokovic, and was outmuscled in the opening set. But the Swiss shifted through the gears to win 3-6 6-3 6-2.

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The result also means Federer maintains his head-to-head record over Djokovic, which is now 17-15.

Djokovic established an early lead when Federer lost his serve in an error-filled second game of the first set. Serving at 5-3, Djokovic won the first set on his third set point of the game with a clean ace down the middle.

In the second set, Djokovic surrendered his serve in the sixth game to put Federer in position to even the score at one set apiece. Federer broke Djokovic's serve in the first and fifth games of the third set to set up the win.

Federer saved two break points when serving for the match in the final game.

Federer will face third seed Tomas Berdych in the final, after the Czech player made it 11 wins in a row with a 7-5 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"It feels absolutely great," Berdych said "I am pleased with today because it was a really tough win. It's a pleasure getting to the final again here, a tournament which has such a strong field.

"My rhythm is much better than it was. It is important for me to be hitting the ball nicely and then my game really works."

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