DUBAI: Novak Djokovic, who took away Roger Federer’s Australian Open title last month, beat him in straight sets again to prevent the former world number one from regaining the Dubai Open.
The second-seeded Serbian won with something to spare by 6-3, 6-3, out playing the top-seeded Swiss maestro in the first set and recovering from 1-3 down in the second as Federer had constant problems with his timing and rhythm off the ground.
It gained Djokovic his third successive title at the $1,600,000 event, and suggested that he has every chance of leapfrogging Federer next month into the world number two ranking.
“Any time I win against Federer it’s a great success,” said Djokovic. “I guess I rose to the occasion. I was aware of the challenge expected of me, and I was aware I needed to be at the top of my game.”
Federer, though, rued his loss to the Serb, blaming a poor start.
“I had a difficult start and Novak played solid all the way through. But for me it was still a great tournament.”
Wozniacki loses Qatar final
Meanwhile, Russia’s Vera Zvonareva beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-4, 6-4 to win the Qatar Open WTA title, preventing the Dane from winning successive titles in the Middle-East.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2011.