DJOKOVIC BEATS BERDYCH TO WIN DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Tomas Berdych 7-5 6-3 to win his fourth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title in five years.
With Petra Kvitova winning the women’s title, Berdych was bidding to make the Czech Republic the first country to provide both winners since Amelie Mauresmo and Fabrice Santoro won in 2002.
The match was a tightly-contested affair from beginning to end, with Djokovic unsure of victory until he clinched his 36th career title with his second match point.
Berdych gained the first advantage, breaking to lead 3-2 with a spectacular crosscourt winner, and although Djokovic broke back to level at 4-4 he then had to fight off three break points to hold for a 5-4 lead.
The set ended with Djokovic breaking again when Berdych double-faulted on break point.
The second set was equally close, with the only break coming at 4-3 when Berdych put a smash wide. Even then, Djokovic has to survive a break point with an ace as he served out the match.
“My serving today was great, very high percentage of first serves, over 200Ks,” said the 2013 champion. “I really felt that I could rely on my serve. And in tough moments, that part of my game actually helped me to prevail. I hung in there and stayed tough. This is the important thing.
“I felt when I came from break down that I started believing in myself a little bit more. He basically gave me that break on 4 3 when he missed an easy volley, but still, I fight and I believed I can come back.
“That’s I think something that can eventually decide the winner in these kind of matches in this kind of level, just hanging in there and waiting for your chance and then going for it.”