The best tennis player in the world showed why on Saturday in Dubai.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic topped Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-3 Saturday night in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Berdych had beaten an in-form Roger Federer in the semifinals, but could not overcome the pinpoint accuracy of the Serbian on the big points. Djokovic extended his win streak to 18 matches after titles at the 2012 year-end championships and the 2013 Aussie Open. It was the fourth Dubai title for Djokovic.
“I really felt that I could rely on my serve,” Djokovic said. “And in tough moments, that part of my game actually helped me to prevail. Tomas was obviously aggressive from the start and feeling confident after a win against Roger [Federer].”
Berdych was up a break in the first, but after squandering it, delivered a choky double fault at 5-6 on break point to lose the set. In the second set Djokovic broke for 5-3 and rode it out to improve to 36-19 in career finals.
“This is definitely one of my favorite tournaments throughout the year,” Djokovic said. “Winning it four times now is something that I definitely enjoy.”
Berdych said choking, whether due to volleying or groundstrokes on key points, played no part.
“Saying that I lost the match because I didn’t volley that well wouldn’t be fair,” Berdych responded to the media. “I mean there was two or three points, but, no, I wouldn’t see that as the deciding moment or deciding points.”
Berdych fell to 0-12 vs. Djokovic on hardcourts.
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