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Berdych Returns To Dubai Final

Dubai, U.A.E.

Berdych© Getty ImagesTomas Berdych will contest the Dubai final for the second year in a row.

Tomas Berdych will contest the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second year in a row after edging Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5 in Friday’s semi-finals. The Czech finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in last year’s final and will look to go one better on Saturday when he faces Roger Federer for the title.

Federer leads Berdych 11-6 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, but lost to the Czech in their last meeting, a year ago, in the Dubai semi-finals.

Third seed Berdych extended his winning run to 11 matches unbeaten as he improved to an 8-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Kohlschreiber. The Czech was on the brink of losing the first set as Kohlschreiber served at 5-4, but he recovered and clinched victory in 89 minutes.

"It was definitely not me [at the start of the match], and it was a really horrible start to the game," said Berdych. "But I managed to refocus and stay there, stay calm, and wait for my chance, which I got in the end. I was ready for it, so I took the first set.  

"Philipp was serving really well [in the second set], very solid and didn't give me many chances at all on his serve. Then I got my one chance in the last game and I took it."

The 28-year-old Berdych is coming off his ninth ATP World Tour title at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament two weeks ago (d. Cilic) in Rotterdam and has a 16-2 record in 2014. The right-hander was also a semi-finalist at the Australian Open (l. to Wawrinka).

Nestor/Zimonjic Reach Final
Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic will attempt to capture their 26th tour-level title on Saturday in the Dubai final. They beat Germans Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer 7-6(4), 7-6(8) in the semi-finals.

The Canadian-Serbian team will be bidding to lift their second ATP World Tour trophy of the year, having triumphed at the Apia International Sydney last month (d. Bopanna-Qureshi). Nestor also won the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp crown with Mariusz Fyrstenberg.

The 41-year-old Nestor is currently tied No. 3 with Todd Woodbridge, on 83 titles, in the Open Era doubles titles leaders list. Zimonjic, 37, has a 50-31 record in tour-level finals.

The pair will challenge second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi for the title at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament. The ‘IndoPak Express’ cruised past Tomasz Bednarek and Lukas Dlouhy 6-2, 6-0 in 48 minutes. They are bidding for their first title since reforming as a full-time partnership at the start of the season.

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