Roger Federer snapped a three-match losing streak against Novak Djokovic. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)
No. 8 Roger Federer rallied to beat No. 2 and defending champion Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the final of the Dubai Championships. Federer will play No. 6 Tomas Berdych in Saturday’s final as the Swiss seeks his first hard-court title since the Western & Southern Open in August 2012.
After a slow start, Federer came back to earn his first victory against Djokovic when dropping the first set. The first two sets were decided by small margins, with some scintillating play from both men; they took advantage of the quick conditions to play some big-hitting, aggressive tennis.
Federer earned a 0-30 lead on Djokovic’s serve in the sixth game of the second set before a brief rain delay. When play resumed, the match turned completely in Federer’s favor. He went on to break and won 10 of the last 13 games for the victory.
Federer improved to 17-15 overall and 13-12 on hard courts against Djokovic. He also recorded his third top-10 victory of the season after beating Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Australian Open; Federer had four all of last season, including two at the ATP World Tour Finals. Djokovic, who lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, fell to 0-2 against top-10 players this year.
Follow our game-by-game analysis after the jump: