Monday March 4, 2013
Novak Djokovic thumps Berdych to win fourth Dubai title
DUBAI: Novak Djokovic won his fifth title in six tournaments and extended an unbeaten run to 18 matches as he clinched a fourth Dubai Open title with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Tomas Berdych on Saturday.
The world No.1 from Serbia underlined his pre-eminence in the world game with an athletically aggressive performance against the world No.6 from the Czech Republic, who knocked out Roger Federer, the title-holder, in the semi-finals.
Berdych had chances to take control of the first set after making the first break of serve, but missed three chances to consolidate it, and also narrowly failed to convert three crucial break points in the following game.
These moments suggested that the biggest difference between the two men is a mental one, something indicated again near the end when Djokovic coped with a time violation warning from the umpire as he was serving for the match. Djokovic was clearly delighted to triumph in his first tournament since successfully defending the Australian Open title five weeks ago.
“To prevail like this and to be the last one standing is thrilling for me,” he said of his 36th career title. “It was a very close match and could have gone either way. It was never going to be an easy final because Tomas is a fantastic player. He’s been on the tour a long time and is very experienced.
“He beat Federer in an incredible match,” Djokovic added, referring to the three match points Berdych saved while halting the Grand Slam record-holder.
Djokovic also believes that his victory on Dubai’s fast courts will stand him in good stead with the year’s opening Masters event getting under way at Indian Wells next week.
“I haven’t always been the player who loves to play on the fast, super-fast surfaces (like this one), but I’m happy because during the week I can also work on my aggressivity, coming into the net, using my serve better,” he said.
“That’s what I have done in this tournament and in particular over the years. I have been trying to work on a few things that can give me more variety in the game, and I can use that in the tournaments to come.” — AFP