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Federer Beats Djokovic To Reach Dubai Final

Dubai, U.A.E.

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer was hyper aggressive against Novak Djokovic on Friday night.

Roger Federer sensationally beat Novak Djokovic for the first time in 18 months on Friday to earn a spot in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final.

The fourth seed and five-time former titlist defeated top seed Djokovic, a four-time champion, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes. Federer was hyper aggressive, hitting his backhand with conviction and backing up big serves with a lot of net approaches. 

Federer, who had not beaten Djokovic since the final of the 2012 Western & Southern Open, denied Djokovic the 550th match win of his career. Federer leads Djokovic 17-15 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The 32 year old will now attempt to capture his 78th tour-level trophy on Saturday against third seed and last year’s runner-up Tomas Berdych. Federer, who lost to Berdych in three sets in the 2013 Dubai semi-finals, leads the Czech 11-6 in their match-ups.

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Djokovic hit 10 winners in the 35-minute opener, but rain started to fall when Djokovic was serving at 2-3, 0/30 in the second set. Play resumed a few minutes later and Federer broke Djokovic to 30 for a 4-2 lead. He won 93 per cent of his first service points in the second set.

Djokovic gifted Federer a service break in the first game of the decider, when he committed two backhand errors. Federer recovered from 15/40 in the next game to take a 2-0 lead, when Djokovic hit a double fault. Federer broke Djokovic once again for a 4-1 lead after coming through a seven-minute game.

It is the first time that Federer has lost the first set against Djokovic and rallied to win.

The 26-year-old Djokovic was attempting to win his first ATP World Tour title of the season. He surrendered his Australian Open crown in the quarter-finals, against eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka, last month.

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