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Federer Experiences Déjà Vu With Berdych

Dubai, UAE

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesFederer couldn't convert one of his three match points against Tomas Berdych Friday.

World No. 2 Roger Federer has been one of the greatest closers the sport has ever seen, but when it comes to trying to shut the door on Tomas Berdych, the Swiss maestro hasn’t been as successful.

The defending champion at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships experienced déjà vu with Berdych in Friday’s semi-finals, relinquishing three match points in a second set tie-break before ultimately losing to the sixth-ranked Czech in three sets. Federer also failed to lock up victory over Berdych when holding match point at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami three years ago, and in a Davis Cup doubles rubber with Yves Allegro in 2007, the two blew a match point and a two-set lead against Berdych and Radek Stepanek

“It's just disappointing losing this way. I think it's the third time I lost [with] match points against Tomas, twice in singles and once in doubles,” reflected Federer. “It's just one of those matches you feel you should have won but end up losing. When you lose with match points, you always have a lot of regrets. That's one of these matches again tonight.”

In trying to put a positive spin on the agonising defeat, his fifth loss in eight meetings with Berdych, Federer looked back on his first-round match. He battled back from a set down to defeat wild card Malek Jaziri.

“I'm happy that I've played better after the first set here at the tournament, which really got me worried for a second,” said Federer. “Obviously I bounced back in the second and the third set. Then I played good tennis against Marcel Granollers, Nikolay Davydenko and also today for long periods during the match. But [I was] still maybe a touch up and down, which really can happen.”

Unable to retain his trophies in Rotterdam and now Dubai, Federer will look to make it third time’s the charm at next week's BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the season. In the 2012 final, Federer defeated John Isner to become the first male to win four trophies at the event.

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