Federer and Djokovic set for blockbuster Dubai final

Defending champion and World No. 2 Roger Federer will play No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the 37th time on Saturday in a blockbuster final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer has a 19-17 lead in their ATP Head to Head series and has won two of their past three meetings. Federer will attempt to claim his seventh Dubai crown and Djokovic will aim to lift his 50th trophy, and his fourth at the Aviation Club.

"When you play Roger, it's always a great challenge," said Djokovic. "If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best."

Second seed Federer overcame lucky loser Borna Coric, 15 years his junior, 6-2, 6-1 in 57 minutes for a spot in his ninth final at the Aviation Club, the venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer will next attempt to clinch his 84th tour-level title (83-42 in finals) and his second crown of the year - after lifting the Brisbane International  trophy last month.

Federer opened up a 3-1 lead, before Coric clinched his lone service break. Federer converted all of his three break point opportunities in the 27-minute first set and then dominated the second set.

"Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning, but I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away," said Federer. "I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realised what had worked until that point and what had not."

The Swiss hit three aces past Coric and is now five aces away from striking the 9,000th ace of his career. He also hit 20 winners and won nine of his 13 points at the net.

"I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game," said Federer. "He does a really good job for a big guy. It's unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that's such a huge part of today's game, I believe."

Coric, who had beaten Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, said, "He was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn't have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I could. I was serving very badly... When you're playing against a guy who is No. 1 or No. 2 in the world, you need to be serving much better if you're going to even compete with him."

Date: 27th February 2015, Source: ATP


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