Dubai Open: Djokovic, Federer In S/Finals


Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer stayed on course for a scorching desert showdown as they led the top four seeds into the semifinals of the Dubai Championships yesterday.

The world’s two leading  players were joined in the last four by Czech Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina.

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 16 matches as he routed Andreas Seppi 6-0 6-3 to set up a 10th meeting with Del Potro, whose thunderous serving helped him overwhelm German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-4 6-2.

Federer vanquished Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko 6-2 6-2 and world number six Berdych swatted aside wildcard Dmitry Tursunov 6-3 6-2.

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Federer and Djokovic, winners of eight of the past 10 Dubai finals between them, have topped the bill each night, while the lower seeds have played in the blistering afternoon heat and that could leave the top two in better condition for Friday’s semifinals.

Djokovic has a 7-2 winning record against Del Potro and has been victorious in their last three matches, but the Argentine did beat Djokovic to claim an Olympic bronze in London last year.

“Del Potro is a fantastic player, he’s very powerful and has a great serve,” Djokovic said in a courtside interview. “He likes this court, plays very aggressive, so I’ll have to be on top of my game.”