Roger Federer beats Novak Djokovic to win Dubai title
Roger Federer beat world number one Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-5 to win his seventh Dubai Championship title.
The Swiss, playing in his 126th ATP final, served brilliantly throughout to trouble Djokovic and also pass 9,000 aces in singles matches.
But the Serb hung on and he had set points in the second set only for Federer to rescue the situation.
The world number two saved all seven break points against him and another superb serve set up the win.
"Playing against Novak is always special. I think we get the best out of each other," Federer said.
"I definitely won the big points tonight so I am pleased I came up with some good serves."
Federer was in trouble when he had to save break points at 1-1 in the opening set but he got through that test and from then on started to take the ball early to put the pressure on Djokovic.
|Federer now leads his head-to-head meetings with Djokovic 20-17|
|It was their fourth meeting in Dubai - Federer is 3-1 ahead|
|Federer's previous Dubai final wins had come against Jiri Novak (2003), Feliciano Lopez ('04), Ivan Ljubicic ('05), Mikhail Youzhny ('07), Andy Murray ('12) and Tomas Berdych ('14)|
|Federer's win means eight ATP World Tour tournaments in 2015 have been won by over-30s|
When another backhand gave Federer a chance of a break, he took it to make it 5-3 and then served out the set, sealing it with a service winner.
The second set proved equally tight but it was the Federer serve which was put under pressure first at 3-4 with a well-placed Djokovic forehand giving him two break points.
However, the world number two responded with four tremendous serves in a row to level the match again and he then had to use his serve to help get him out of trouble at 4-5 when Djokovic had two set points.
A Djokovic double fault gave Federer break points of his own at 5-5 and the defending champion drove his advantage home with a forehand winner to edge ahead.
It left Federer serving for the match and although he had a brief wobble when he netted on his first match point, he made no mistake with his second.
"I thought it was a good match. I thought there wasn't much difference, a few points decided the winner," said Djokovic.
"If you don't use these opportunities against Roger, then he fires back. But I didn't play too bad."