Federer beats Berdych to win Dubai Open for sixth time
In the final of the 22nd Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Swiss Roger Federer defeated Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic in a tough match in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, cashing in 465,830 US dollars worth of prize money.
Like in the semi-final against Novak Djokovic, Federer, the world's number eight in the ATP ranking, started with some difficulties in the sold-out Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium and needed several points to find his rhythm against 28-year old Berdych, the number six in global men's tennis.
After winning the tournament for the sixth time, the 32-year old Federer said "It sounds good, I am very happy with my game, Tomas had an advantage and I got a little lucky," the tennis ace said in his typical modest style.
Asked how he managed the turnaround after losing the first set, Federer said "I stayed calm and really started to play better, but it remained till the end a really tough match. Tomas is a great player and I wish Tomas all the best for the coming weeks."
With 17 Grand Slam titles and overall 302 weeks he held number one in the world, Federer is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all times. No other player was for six times victorious in Dubai's 22-year tournament history (Djokovic won four times, Federer was the runner-up in 2011 when he lost against the Serbian).
During the 1st set Berdych made lots of mistakes, but Federer also could not benefit from it as the Swiss hit the ball several times too far. Both players rarely appeared at the net and tried to keep each other at bay with long, risky shots close to the baseline. The Swiss left a somewhat tired and less focused impression as he needed three sets on Friday before beating Djokovic in the semi-final.
Despite numerous small and unnecessary mistakes, Federer eventually won the second set amid strong and audible support from his huge fan community in the stadium. After missing the first match point in the third set when he led 5-2, Federer showed his entire class and completed the last set 6-3.
Federer scored a total of seven aces during the match, against five of Berdych.
Berdych said he would like to come back to Dubai in 2015 and that his third participation might lead him to victory. The Czech cashed in 210,020 dollars prize money for his runner-up position.
For Berdych, it was the second time to leave the Dubai Open as the runner-up as he lost the final last year against Djokovic, currently the number two in the world.
According to Colm McLoughlin, the executive vice chairman of the tournament's main sponsor Dubai Duty Free, over 200,000 spectators were present in the stadium over the last two weeks during the Dubai Open's women's and men's tournament, "representing an 11 per cent increase over 2013."
Federer said the mood in the Dubai stadium a "dream scenario for any tournament, it definitely makes the best players coming back to Dubai every year."