Roger Federer feted the twentieth anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in a memorable manner. In the final, Federer bested Andy Murray 7-5, 6-4 to claim a record fifth trophy.
The last time, Federer and Murray clashed was at the ATP World Tour Champions in 2010. Although the former was victorious, in their head to head, Murray led 8-6.
In the semifinals, Murray dispatched Novak Djokovic in straight sets to hand the Serb his first knockdown of the year. Moreover, Murray stopped Djokovic from seeking a fourth consecutive title. Consequently, Murray came into the final full of confidence.
On the other hand, Federer has been brilliant of late. He was going for his second title in a row in his last two tournaments.
Federer had not surrendered a set this week. The Swiss had not been broken since the Rotterdam semifinals, guarding serve 58 successive times. In the previous round, Federer held off Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6, 7-6.
With Federer netting a backhand, Murray had double break point in the opening set. The last opponent to manufacture a break point against Federer was Michael Llodra in the opening round. By provoking miscues from Murray, Federer erased the deficit and held for 3 a piece.
Later with Murray serving at 5 all, Federer fabricated triple break point. Yet, Murray wiggled himself out of that jam and got to deuce.
However, on his fifth break point opportunity, Federer caused Murray to dump a backhand volley into the net and captured the break for 6-5. Then, with a swift game, Federer bedded the initial set.
Next, as Murray’s crosscourt backhand landed wide, Federer converted the break in the subsequent set. Soon, with a love game, Federer consolidated for 3-1.
But serving at 3-2, Federer allowed his rival back into the match. As Federer misfired on a backhand volley, Murray broke and won the following game to move ahead 4-3.
After Federer maintained serve comfortably, he attacked. Thanks to a superb forehand volley winner, Federer obtained triple break point. When Murray fumbled the backhand down the line, Federer sealed the break for 5-4.
Although Murray saved an initial match point to find deuce, Federer produced a second with a forehand crosscourt winner. Quickly, by sticking a forehand up the line winner, Federer ended the session for his 72nd career title.
Murray is the first Brit to advance to the Dubai final. Despite the loss, Murray stated “it was a good week with a couple of great wins against [Tomas] Berdych and Novak. It was always going to be a tough challenge against Roger. He played a better match and deserves to win”.
Moreover, Murray felt “the atmosphere was fantastic. I think most of the crowd wanted Roger to win. But it’s not always [the case] that you get to play in a packed stadium. It was a good atmosphere, thanks everyone for coming out. I really enjoyed it”.
The last time Federer hoisted the trophy was in 2007. The titles may be numerous, yet, Federer never gets tired of winning.
The Swiss admitted that “winning is the best; it solves everything. I’m very happy it went so well. It’s a wonderful tournament to play”. Since Federer spends quite a bit of his “free time” in Dubai, he expressed that it’s especially thrilling to triumph there.