Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic appear to be well on their way to another major showdown. And no, I’m not jinxing it by saying that I think it’s going to happen.
After Federer blew away Sergei Stakhovsky 6-4, 6-3 and Djokovic did the same to Florian Mayer in a 7-5, 6-1 win, they are just one match from the Saturday finals in Dubai.
“I try not to waste any energy,” said the four-time Dubai champ Federer. “Most important thing is to come through. Doesn’t matter if it’s three times 7-6 in a row to get to the semi. At the end of the day, you want to give yourself chances to win the trophy, and that’s what I’m doing. I think I didn’t have any let’s say completely easy matches here. I’ve always had to be very focused.”
Tomorrow, Federer, who hasn’t dropped a set, gets the original “Baby Fed” in the second semifinal while Djokovic has the tougher draw earlier with No. 3 seed Tomas Berdych.
Federer owns Gasquet 7-1 and he should get through the Frenchman once again.
“I know I have to play my game, not to try to play too good,” said Gasquet after his three setter over countryman Gilles Simon. “When I played him in Bercy last year, I wanted to play very good, to play all the lines, and I made a lot of mistakes. So I just have to try to play my game. For sure he’s the favourite for the match.”
Djokovic has a big lead on Berdych 5-1 as well, but the Czech is a little more of a danger than Gasquet.
“He’s been playing really well in the last year and a half,” said Djokovic who has won his last nine matches (9-0 on the year). “He’s a quite consistent player right now. We played in Australia. He has a very powerful serve, very fast baseline strokes, very flat, so I guess I need to be patient and wait for my chances.”
Bottom line is we should see a nice Federer v. Djokovic final Saturday afternoon.
Down South in Delray Beach, Juan Martin Del Potro is really finding his stride, and he’s starting to look scary. At least the scoreline-scary. Just moments ago Del Potro battered Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-1, 6-1. Delpo moves on to the quarterfinals where he’ll await the winner of tonight’s Kevin Anderson-Florent Serra match. If he gets through that he’ll likely run into Mardy Fish for a spot in the final.
Right now, it looks good for Delpo leaving the beach with a title on Sunday, and if he does watch it. He may be winning some Masters Series event much sooner than I thought!
On the clay in Acapulco, maybe the second hottest guy in tennis (okay third if you include Soderling) is quietly Nicolas Almagro. The big-headed Spaniard won his 12th straight match to advance to the semifinals.
Matches are still ongoing in Mexico.
DUBAI FRIDAY SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
 T Berdych (CZE) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
M Granollers (ESP) / D Norman (BEL) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR) / M Youzhny (RUS)
 R Federer (SUI) vs R Gasquet (FRA)
 M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs J Chardy (FRA) / F Lopez (ESP)
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