Federer beats Djokovic to win record seventh DDFTC crown

By admin Tuesday, 03 March 2015 6:24 PM

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Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final to bag seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

Dubai - Roger Federer made it a seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship triumph here with a 6-3, 7-5 success over world number one Novak Djokovic in the men’s singles final on Saturday night.

The 33-year-old Swiss saved two break points in his second service game and then clinically took the very first chance that came his way on the Serbian’s serve at 3-4, 30-40 up; Djokovic hitting a backhand long to hand Federer the break and the subsequent opportunity to serve for the opening set.

An ace helped Federer get to 40-15 ahead and, although Djokovic managed to save one set point, he couldn’t the second as a forehand return sailed well beyond the baseline.

Federer then had to withstand plenty of pressure from the four-time Dubai champion in the latter stages of the second set.

At 4-3 and 5-4 up respectively, Djokovic squandered two break points in each game — two of which were, of course, set points — and he then dropped his own service for a second time from 40-0 in front.

Federer capitalised on two faults and a double fault to bring up advantage out, which he grasped with relish with a trademark inside-out forehand.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion fell 0-30 down when serving for the championship, but his serve never deserted him when it was really needed and two aces brought up a championship point and he prevailed with a put-away forehand at the net.

Federer thus inflicted a first defeat in a Dubai final on Djokovic, who had previously maintained a 100 per cent record with four wins from four (in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2013).

Earlier, Rohanna Bopanna and Daniel Nestor won the men’s doubles title with a straight-sets victory over their former playing partners, Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic, 6-4, 6-1.

Games went with serve until the ninth, when Bopanna and Nestor chalked up three break points at 0-40 on Zimonjic’s service.

They duly took the very first of them without a getting a racquet on the ball too as their misfiring Serbian opponent served a double fault.

Bopanna, who had earlier had to fire down three aces to offset as many double faults in the sixth game, then held his nerve from 15-30 down to clinch the opening set.

Qureshi’s serve then came under pressure in the first game of the second set, where he and Zimonjic fought back from 15-40 behind to force decisive point/receiver’s choice.

However, at a crucial time again, Qureshi — like Zimonjic before him — went for too much on his service, missed the box twice and gifted Bopanna and Nestor an early break.

The Indian-Canadian duo consolidated it and eventually got to 3-1, when Qureshi was broken once again at decisive point/receiver’s choice as veteran Nestor hit an angled, crosscourt winner with his lefty forehand.