DUBAI, February 28, 2015
Saturday’s blockbuster final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships featured the 37th meeting between world number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Roger Federer.
The Swiss world number two, who has reached the climax without dropping a set, was again the dominant player on court today. Federer fired 11 aces and 35 winners to capture his seventh title in the desert, his 84th on the ATP World Tour. The 33-year-old sealed victory in one hour and 24 minutes winning 6-3, 7-5. Federer improved to a 20-17 lead over Djokovic in their head to head series as he recorded his first victory over the Serb in a final since the 2012 Cincinnati title match.
“I think the first set belonged to me, whereas the second set belonged to him more,” said Federer. “He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn’t serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me. It was a huge game clearly at 5-5, 40-0 for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight.”
Federer was obviously proud concerning his great results he has achieved in Dubai. “The seventh is quite unbelievable, what I hear people talking about that, announcing I’m the seven or six-time winner here in Dubai. Sounds pretty crazy,” the Swiss said. “I guess it definitely helps practicing in Dubai quite a bit. I know how the ball flies and the conditions here.”
Djokovic had to admit the solid performance of Federer throughout this week. “I thought it was a good match,” the world number one told. “I thought there wasn’t much difference, a few points decided a winner. I think in the important moments, I could have been maybe a little bit more aggressive, but small margins, really. I thought he just was too good in the points where maybe I had a chance. He served well. He aced. Then, you know, maybe a volley that hit the line. I congratulate him. He deserved it.“
Earlier the day, fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor claimed their second ATP title of the season beating Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4, 6-1 in the doubles final. The Indian-Canadian tandem lifted their first trophy since winning the title in Sydney in January.
“We have had a good start,” said Nestor. “We have beaten a lot of good teams, which is good. Obviously our goal is to win the Grand Slams. The next few weeks are big tournaments. We have to really be ready. But if we play like we are playing and stay positive and keep working hard, we should be all right.”
“I think we played a really solid match,” added Bopanna. “I think we stuck to our strengths playing aggressive tennis and a high percentage of first serves, which I think was the key. Once we got the break in the first set, I think the momentum really shifted to our side. Once we got the second break in the second set, I think their body language was already down, and we just had to make sure we kept our game high.”
The tournament’s organisation was pleased with the last fourteen days of tennis in Dubai.
“We have enjoyed two magnificent weeks of tennis played at the very highest level, with several exciting upsets and many close matches keeping us on the edge of our seats,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free. “We have welcomed back old friends, and seen new stars such as Karolina Pliskova and Borna Coric making a major impact and we wish them well for the future. But there can be only one winner each week, and we congratulate Simona Halep for her first title here, and Roger Federer for winning his 7th. It is a remarkable achievement. We look forward to welcoming them and all the other outstanding players back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2016 for another fortnight of truly world class competition.”