Dubai: Roger Federer rolled back the years to beat Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Dubai Championship on Friday, his first victory in four meetings with the world No. 2.
Federer, 32, rarely troubled the Serb in the first set and the pivotal moment came at 2-2 in the second when the Swiss saved a break point with a delicious backhand pass.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion went on to hold serve and then broke in a rain-interrupted game — the players leaving the court for only a few minutes — with a backhand bullet from the baseline.
Federer clinched the set with an ace before Djokovic, 26, double-faulted in the first game of the decider to gift his opponent a crucial early break.
The five-time champion next meets Czech Tomas Berdych who subdued German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5 to record his 11th straight win and reach a second successive Dubai final.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played today because it was a tough contest,” Berdych said. “I just need to focus on myself, because I need to bring my best tennis tomorrow,” added the world No. 6.
Berdych feels he is privileged to play alongside the current crop of tennis stalwarts.