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Page last updated at 21:19 GMT, Saturday, 28 February 2009

Djokovic battles to Dubai victory

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic wins his first tournament of the year in Dubai.

World number three Novak Djokovic overcame David Ferrer 7-5 6-3 to win the Dubai Championships.

The Serb edged out the Spanish fourth-seed in an entertaining match.

Djokovic made hard work of the first set and dropped eight-straight points when serving at 5-3 up before winning eight of the next nine to take the set.

He led the second set 4-1, but Ferrer pulled it back to 4-3, before a double-fault allowed Djokovic to serve out, with the Serb winning with an ace.

With the withdrawal of world number one Rafael Nadal and number two Roger Federer prior to the event in Dubai as well as Andy Murray's mid-tournament exit to a virus, Djokovic had been heavily fancied to win.

"Nobody is a favourite in a final, everyone has the motivation to do well," Djokovic said.


"I was physically and emotionally really involved with this tournament and to win it is a great feeling because Dubai has a history of having one of the strongest fields on the tour.

"Despite some players pulling out, it was still a tough field."

The Serb paid tribute to his opponent and admitted Ferrer had made him give his all for the win.

"This was a tough match because David is a very tough opponent," Djokovic said.

"He is one of the hardest working players on the tour, and he just keeps running down every ball. He makes you earn every point."

Ferrer was playing in his first final of the season and despite the defeat he was pleased with his form.

"I played a very good game and I am very happy with what I did, but he was the better player in the end," Ferrer said.

"However, I really enjoyed my week and am looking forward to more such consistent weeks in the future."

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see also
Murray too ill to play in Dubai
26 Feb 09 |  Scotland
Murray crushes Clement in Dubai
25 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Clement as it happened
25 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Djokovic eases through in Dubai
24 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray feels he's playing better
25 Feb 09 |  Scotland

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