ATP Tour

Federer sets up Djokovic date

2014-02-27 21:37
Roger Federer (AFP)

Dubai - Grand Slam record-holder Roger Federer has earned another showdown with defending champion Novak Djokovic by outplaying Lukas Rosol 6-2, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Open on Thursday.

The mood of Federer's success against the Czech, who famously ousted Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012, was in sharp contrast with his desperate recovery from within sight of defeat against Radek Stepanek on Wednesday.

"If you want to just analyse it within like ten seconds, I think that's what it was. I don't (usually) break somebody eight times and almost lose the match," Federer said, referring to his slide almost to 0-3 down in the final set against Stepanek.

"So I definitely didn't hit my spots as well, as today on my serve. I maybe could argue that Radek is a better return player than Rosol and all these things, but still I did serve much more clutch today when I needed to."

Federer did go 0-2 down at the beginning of Thursday's quarter-final, but hurtled through the next six games, striking the ball beautifully.

Federer was happy to go into the match with Djokovic in confident mood.

"For me, it was important also probably not to be out there for three hours," he said.

"Then it would have been a disadvantage. But like this, I think it was a good and quick match for me. I guess we're back on even terms for tomorrow."

Federer leads Djokovic 16-15 in their head-to-head record, but has lost the last three.

"We've played each other everywhere and all the surfaces, you name it, so I think we know each other very well," said the Swiss.

"I think we always play the match-up very good, because we play explosive, aggressive tennis, so there is always some shot making going on.

"I think it's improved very much over the years. I don't need to say it now because he's proven his point so much, but he's cleaned up his game in all aspects -- serves, volleys, movement, anyways, also forehand and backhand.

- 'I thought he had technical issues' -

"I always thought he did have some technical issues at some point in his career, maybe in the very beginning of his career or midway through. He seemed to always find a way. I'm very impressed when it comes to that."

Earlier Djokovic advanced to the semi-finals more quickly than he would have wished when his opponent, Mikhail Youzhny, was taken ill and withdrew.

The sixth-seeded Russian has twice reached the final in Dubai and might have provided a good test for the champion, and he would certainly have preferred to experience that.

Returning to the tour more than five weeks after the loss of his Australian Open title, Djokovic's greatest need is match practice.

Instead he approaches his encounter with Federer with little more than two hours court time altogether.

Tomas Berdych increased his chances of reaching the final for a second year in a row when he overcame Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and some painful sun-cream to post a resolutely-taken 6-4, 6-3 win.

The third-seeded Czech hit with solidity in the second set when confronted with four break points against him in the third game and one more in the seventh -- although his burning back seemed almost as great an obstacle.

"It wasn't sunburn, it was a wrong application of cream," he said with doleful humour.

"I didn't expect to die by burning. For the first four games I was on fire -- not on the court, but on my back. So I am glad the physio helped me and I survived it."

Berdych, who has now won 14 of his last 15 matches, next has to survive a semi-final with Philipp Kohlschreiber, the seventh-seeded German, whose tidily aggressive performance ousted Malek Jaziri, the surprise survivor from Tunisia, by 6-2, 6-3.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  dubai open  |  roger federer  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Federer marches on in NY

2014-09-03 07:30

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

7 insanely cool smartphone photography tips

With these smartphone photography tips your pics will have some edge!

 
 

For chic geeks...

10 mind-blowing explosions done in the name of science
Wearable Tech: Sleek or geek?
Google is bringing you self flying delivery drones
Polaroid’s new rugged action cam is badass
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.