Defending champion Roger Federer squandered three match points as he slumped to a 3-6, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 defeat to Tomas Berdych in their Dubai Open semi-final yesterday.
Berdych, who knocked Federer out of the US Open in the quarter-finals last year, will tackle World No 1 Novak Djokovic in today’s final.
Top seed Djokovic reached the final with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) success over Juan Martin del Potro. The Serbian was again in remarkably fine fettle for a man who has not played a tournament since making a successful defence of the Australian title nearly five weeks ago and. This will be his 55th final.
“I am proud of that record and of what I have done in my career,” he said. “It’s been more than successful and I am trying to cherish every moment I spend on a tennis court.
“Juan Martin was very powerful, and when I was behind I needed to hang in there. I knew it was only one break and that I could pull it back,” he added.