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Federer Extends Perfect Youzhny Record; Del Potro Defeats Tsonga

Dubai, UAE

Federer© Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer is chasing a fifth Dubai title.

World No. 3 Roger Federer improved to a perfect 12-0 record against Mikhail Youzhny on Thursday as he defeated the Russian 6-3, 6-4 in a repeat of the 2007 final to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The 30-year-old Federer required just 69 minutes to dismiss the No. 34-ranked Youzhny, a recent winner at the PBZ Zagreb Indoors (d. Lacko). The Swiss converted two of the 11 break points he created and won 74 per cent of points on his serve.

"I thought on my serve I was doing many of the right things," reflected Federer. "It's quick out there, so you got to be really focussed. He was obviously taking a lot chances for one set and a half. Maybe his energy wasn't quite up. At the end he really got pumped up a bit, but it was almost too late for him."

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Federer is chasing a fifth title at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament. He triumphed from 2003-2005 and again in 2007; he was runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2006 and against Novak Djokovic last year.

The Basel native has opened the 2012 ATP World Tour season with a 14-2 match record and came into Dubai after winning his 71st tour-level title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

For a place in the final, he will face Juan Martin del Potro, the No. 8 seed. Del Potro moved through to his third straight semi-final, easing past fourth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(1), 6-2. After commanding the first set tie-break, del Potro broke the Frenchman on both of his break point opportunities in the second set to defeat Tsonga for the second consecutive week, improving to 5-1 against the World No. 6. "I'm feeling really glad to be in the semi-finals in this tournament with big names: Djokovic, Murray and Federer," said del Potro. "So it's an amazing season at the moment for me."

The Argentine, making his tournament debut this week, is coming off of his first title of the season at the Open 13 in Marseille (d. Llodra) and a runner-up finish to Federer in Rotterdam. Del Potro holds a 2-9 mark versus Federer, having lost their past three meetings. "All the matches are different, all tournaments are different, [so] I'm trying to find a way to beat again him," del Potro said. "His game is really difficult for me. He plays slices, dropshots, and he's one of the best in history. So I just want to be ready for fight and to see how I'm going to play against him."

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