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Federer To Face Djokovic In Dubai SFs

Dubai, U.A.E.

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer leads Novak Djokovic 16-15 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Roger Federer set up a blockbuster semi-final against Novak Djokovic at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after he recorded his 40th match win at the Aviation Club, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament, on Thursday night.

Fourth seed Federer, a five-time former champion, defeated Lukas Rosol, contesting their first meeting, 6-2, 6-2 in just 58 minutes. He now takes a 16-15 lead over top seed and four-time titlist Novak Djokovic into Friday’s clash. Djokovic will be attempting to register the 550th match win of his career.

The Rivalry: Federer vs. Djokovic

Looking ahead to the semi-finals, Federer said, "We know each other very well, and we've played each other everywhere and [on] all the surfaces, you name it. I think we always play the match-up actually very good, because we play explosive, aggressive tennis, so there is always some shot-making going on. I'm looking forward to the match. One match, best of three sets on a court like this, it's a bit of ‘let's see what happens’, anyway. We both know that."

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Federer bounced back from an 0-2 deficit against Rosol in the first set, which lasted 28 minutes, to lose just six points in the next six games. Federer broke Rosol to love in the third game of the second set and didn't look back.

"When you play someone for the first time, you never quite know what his best level is or his normal level is," admitted Federer, when asked how he felt when Rosol took a 2-0 lead. "That's why you kind of keep pushing on, and that's also why I guess the score came out the way it did, because I never let go. I always kept making returns, made sure he had to work hard.

"Yesterday [against Radek Stepanek], I think I actually played okay. I just didn't serve well. Maybe [I] could argue that Radek is a better return player than Rosol is and all these things, but still I did serve much more clutch today when I needed to, which didn't work at all yesterday."

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