DUBAI: Roger Federer claimed the 84th title of his legendary career, kept his nose in front in his personal rivalry with Novak Djokovic, and equalled his best achievement at any tournament by winning the Dubai Open for the seventh time on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
The Grand Slam record-holder from Switzerland beat the world number one from Serbia 6-4, 7-5 in a colorful success, which took Federer’s title haul here, equal to those of Halle and Wimbledon. It also put him 20-17 up against Djokovic
Federer served superbly, his 12 aces taking his career total past 9,000, something only three other players have done since 1991.
Even more noticeable was his risk-taking, the frequency with which he approached the net, and the commitment with which he attacked his groundstrokes.
The victory was a fine riposte to those who said after his third round loss to Andreas Seppi in the Australian Open that his good days were now behind him.
“People are often saying how old I am—but who knows how many years I have left. I can still play with the best,” the 33-year-old said challengingly.
It required only one break of serve in the first set, in the eighth game, to give Federer the thrust he needed to close out the first set.
And one break was enough in the second, coming in the eleventh game.