Four days after they had a chance to play at the helipad of the Burj Ar Arab hotel, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were the opponents in the semi-final of the ATP event in Dubai in 2005, facing each other for the ninth time.
The American defeated the young Swiss in the first three encounters before Federer took charge, scoring his sixth straight victory over Agassi on February 26, staying on the court for only 52 minutes in a 6-3, 6-1 triumph that propelled him into the third consecutive Dubai final.
Roger arrived in Dubai after winning the title in Rotterdam, struggling to adapt to the new conditions and beating Ivo Minar and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the deciding set tie break, saving two match points against the Spaniard.
The Swiss played better against Mikhail Youzhny in the quarters and found the perfect rhythm against the American veteran, losing 15 points in eight service games and fending off all three break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the court.
Agassi was far from those numbers, giving away half of the points in his games and suffering four breaks to propel Roger into the title match in no time at all. The Swiss had around 20 winners and forced that many mistakes from the American who barely hit any winner, unable to find an open space and staying far behind in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.
Federer held in the opening game with a forehand down the line winner and Agassi also produced an excellent opening service game to level the score at 1-1 with a hold at love. He even created a break chance in the third game following a loose forehand from Federer who saved it with a booming serve to avoid an early setback, firing a service winner in game five to remain 3-2 in front.
Andre was there to fight in the opening six game, producing another fine hold to level the score at 3-3, winning only one out of the next ten games by the end of the encounter! Roger held at love to move 4-3 up and grabbed a break at love with a backhand down the line winner in the next game, securing the opener with a forehand winner in game nine for 6-3 thanks to that one break of serve.
A forehand down the line winner clinched an early break for the defending champion in set number two, repelling two break chance in the second game to confirm the advantage and earning another break in game three after a lob winner behind the back from an incredible position, one of the shots of the year.
Marching towards the finish line, Federer held at 15 in game four with a well-constructed attack and landed a service winner that sent him 5-1 in front, sealing the deal with a break at love a few minutes later following a double fault that turned to be the last shot Agassi played in Dubai, retiring at the US Open later that year.