Novak Djokovic Beats Berdych in “Catastrophic Match”, Faces Federer in Dubai Final [Video]
by Tom Gainey | February 25th, 2011, 4:43 pm

On a very hot day, Novak Djokovic prevailed over Tomas Berdych in the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships today.

Djokovic, who called the match “catastrophic” during his on-court interview, was leading 67(5), 62, 42, 30-0 when Berdych retired with a left quadricep injury.

Djokovic will bid for a third Dubai title tomorrow against…Roger Federer! Federer overcame a second set hole to beat Richard Gasquet 62, 75. Gasquet served for the second set at 5-3 but that’s when the Frenchman folded.

Federer and Djokovic will meet for a 21st time tomorrow. The Swiss, who has won four Dubai titles, leads 13-7. Djokovic, who has won all 10 matches in 2011, beat Roger in the Australian Open semifinals a month ago.

“This is not similar, because we actually didn’t play the finals against each other in Australia,” Federer said. “He’s been playing well. He hasn’t lost a match yet this season.

“Maybe a bit of an up and down performance here this last week [from Djokovic], [but] again his class showed. He made it to another final. He’s obviously looking to get the hat-trick here; I hope to stop him and get my fifth. I’m excited about the match. I’m sure we’re going to see great rallies.”

Federer has won their last four best-of-three set matches while Djokovic has won their two most recent best-of-five affairs.

It should be a great match.

Here are the highlights and on-court interview from Novak’s win:

And Roger Federer’s post match interview:

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14 Comments for Novak Djokovic Beats Berdych in “Catastrophic Match”, Faces Federer in Dubai Final [Video]

stu Says:

why is he avoiding any mention of the US Open?

fedeRER Says:

i think us open is more painful for roger than AO because of the way the match went

van orten Says:

us open was harder for most of his fans too i guess!!!!

dave Says:

It was hot, but not “a very hot day” for both Djokovic and Berdych. Only 83F, which is the average high temperature for March in Dubai. In July (when Federer trains in Dubai), the average temperature is 95F to an average high of 105 – 110F. Federer would have been happy playing all his matches in the hot daytime sun, but the sell-out crowds and TV probably created the demand for Federer to play the night matches.

Gasquet served for the second set at 5-3 but it wasn’t simply a case of the Frenchman “folded.” Federer did put him under pressure on points such as at 4:58 in this clip.

Djokovic showed signs of shakiness in three matches:
– in the second round, Feliciano Lopez won the second set
– in the quarterfinal, Florian Mayer folded when he served for the first set at 5-3
– in the semifinal, Berdych won the first set

It’s childish to make a mountain out of a molehill of Federer forgetting to mention the US Open. Only losers focus on the past. Federer is focused on the future: he knows that he is ahead in points achieved after Wimbledon 2010 (see below), so he has a buffer of points to keep him on track to regaining the number one ranking by Wimbledon 2010. Federer does not care if he loses some matches here or there, as long as he wins enough to reach his goals.

Federer knows that he is on the verge on getting into a groove given that he has reached 8 finals in his last 11 tournaments, and never lost before a semifinal after last Wimbledon.

How the top five players have performed after Wimbledon 2010. This includes last week’s Marseille and Memphis events (but does not include this week’s Dubai).

Federer, age 29:
– 6,500 ranking points from 10 tournaments between Canadian Open to Australian Open
(including Dubai, Federer is at least 6,800 points: after Wimbledon 2010, this gives Federer at least 2,175 ranking points more than Nadal’s 4,625 points and 1,110 points more than Djokovic’s at least 5,690 points for reaching Dubai finals. If Federer wins, he will be 1,310 points ahead of Djokovic after Wimbledon 2010).
– 5 titles, 2 finals, 3 semifinals from 10 tournaments (including Dubai, he has reached at – least 8 finals from last 11 events)
– 45-5 win-loss from 50 matches (including Dubai, he is at least 49-5; if he wins 50-5)
– 13-4 win-loss against 17 top ten players in 50 matches

Djokovic, age 23:
– 5,390 ranking points from 9 tournaments between Canadian Open to Australian Open
(including Dubai, Djokovic has at least 5,690 points for reaching Dubai finals, and if he wins it is 5,890 points).
– 2 titles, 2 finals, 3 semifinals, 1 quarterfinal, 1 R16 from 9 tournaments (including Dubai, he has reached at least 5 finals from last 9 events)
– 33-8 win-loss from 41 matches (including Dubai, he is at least 37-8, if he wins 38-8)
– 6-6 win-loss against 12 top ten players in 41 matches (Djokovic’a 6 losses to top ten players were: 4 losses to Federer, 2 losses to Nadal, 1 loss to Roddick and 1 loss to Llodra).

Nadal, age 24:
– 4,625 ranking points from 9 tournaments between Canadian Open to Australian Open.
– 2 titles, 1 final, 3 semifinals, 2 quarterfinals, 1 R16 from 9 tournaments (he has reached at least 3 finals from last 9 events)
– 31-7 win-loss from 38 matches
– 6-3 win-loss against 9 top ten players in 38 matches

Murray, age 23:
– 4,335 ranking points from 11 tournaments between Los Angeles to Rotterdam.
– 2 titles, 2 finals, 1 semifinal, 3 quarterfinals, 1 R16, 2 R32 from 11 tournaments (he has reached 4 finals from last 11 events)
– 30-9 win-loss from 39 matches
– 5-3 win-loss against 8 top ten players in 39 matches

Soderling, age 26:
– 3,610 ranking points from 15 tournaments between Bastad to Marseille
– 4 titles, 1 final, 1 semifinal, 1 RR, 5 quarterfinals, 3 R16 from 15 tournaments (he has reached 5 finals from last 15 events)
– 41-12 win-loss from 53 matches
– 5-5 win-loss against 10 top ten players in 49 matches

Note: some ranking points will not be counted if they are from uncountable events.

jane Says:

dave interesting stats. You should count the Davis Cup.

grendel Says:

“Federer did put him under pressure on points such as at 4:58 in this clip”. I disagree. In the long rally Federer wins, Gasquet rather limply allowed Federer space to hit a nice winner. The last shot of the game was diabolical, and from memory there was a double fault from Gasquet. In general, it was quite plain that he succombed to fear after playing really rather well to earn a deserved break.

stu Says:

Thanks for the interesting stats, Dave. Are any of you guys on tennis-x members of I’ve thought about it, but not taken the plunge yet!

skeezerweezer Says:


Wow, as usual you can slam dunk it or shoot a 3 from the the perimeter…..:)

Daniel Says:

Does anyone know why in Federer’s ranking points page on ATP website he has 3 ATP 500 tourneys with 0 points, as if he is being under some penalty due to not playing? For example, the Washington tourney is there for 2 years now showing 0 points. Maybe he signed a contract to play for 2 or 3 years and back away from it, I don’t know. Will wait for someone to enlighten me, Thanks!

Dolgo folding a little.:(

Kimmi Says:

go dolgo! take one

Kimmi Says:

too tentative on that point..ah

Kimmi Says:

wrong thread

scineram Says:

Because 4 500 tournaments are mandatorily counted for top 30 players. Or something.

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