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Novak Djokovic defeats Roger Federer to win Dubai title

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is unbeaten since leading Serbia to Davis Cup victory last year

World number three Novak Djokovic continued his superb start to 2011 by defeating Roger Federer to secure a third straight title in Dubai.

The Serbian followed up his Australian Open victory earlier this month with a 6-3 6-3 win in Saturday's final to take his winning streak to 14 matches.

Djokovic broke twice in the opening set as he took it in 33 minutes.

And he fought back from a break down in a pulsating second set to end four-time champion Federer's challenge.

It was another highly impressive display from the 23-year-old, who also defeated Federer in straight sets in the Australian Open semi-finals.

"I was aware of the challenge that is expected of me on the court, and I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger," said Djokovic.

"So the focus was there. I was serving really well, especially the first set. Just the perfect performance overall."

I'm a different player in the last year - I have a serve

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic might have gone into the match with a 7-13 record against Federer but he picked up where he had left off in Melbourne by making a storming start.

Two Federer errors gave up the first break in game three and with Djokovic making 93% of his first serves in his opening four games, and attacking relentlessly from the baseline, he was quickly in control.

Djokovic had the chance of a double break in game five but blazed a forehand wide on his first opportunity, before Federer played a beautiful forehand winner on the second, but the Swiss could not withstand the pressure when serving to stay in the set and was broken again.

The Djokovic storm finally abated, briefly, at 1-1 in the second set but Federer looked to have blown his chance when he hooked a forehand into the tramlines on his first break point of the day.

However, with the Serb now serving down at 40% he was suddenly under pressure himself and a wayward backhand conceded the break.

I started bad and then kind of got into the match, but things are over in a hurry sometimes in best of three set tennis

Roger Federer

Federer could not capitalise though, opening at 3-2 with a double fault and successive forehand errors to slip 0-40 down before dumping a smash into the bottom of the net.

It was a poor game and the belief appeared to drain from the 16-time Grand Slam champion, who again found himself at 0-40 in his next service game and, despite seeing off two break points, could only thump a backhand long on the third.

A pumped-up Djokovic was not about to let his man off the hook and reeled off his fifth consecutive game to wrap up the win in just 71 minutes.

"I'm a different player in the last year - I have a serve," Djokovic added afterwards. "Last year, the serve was not there and I was struggling a lot. I was using a lot of energy.

"Now I get to have some free points, which is important."

Federer said: "Well, missed [chance] for me, really. I started bad and then kind of got into the match, but things are over in a hurry sometimes in best of three set tennis."

And having lost to Djokovic in the last two Grand Slam tournaments and now in Dubai, Federer said of their rivalry: "We've had it kind of come and go in spells a bit against each other. I definitely feel he's playing well.

"I thought he was already playing well at the end of last year. We had a couple real close ones. This one has been one of the rather disappointing matches for me against him."

In Acapulco, Spain's David Ferrer ended the 13-match winning streak of compatriot Nicolas Almagro with a 7-6(7-4) 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 victory in the final of the Mexican Open.

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see also
Djokovic to play Federer in Dubai
25 Feb 11 |  Tennis
Federer & Djokovic make last four
24 Feb 11 |  Tennis
Federer & Djokovic ease through
23 Feb 11 |  Tennis
Djokovic outplays Murray in final
30 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Federer eases to title in Qatar
08 Jan 11 |  Tennis
Djokovic defeats champion Federer
27 Jan 11 |  Tennis

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