Dubai Flashback: Roger Federer tops Tomas Berdych and passes John McEnroe

Roger Federer claimed his 78th ATP title in Dubai 2014, leaving John McEnroe on 77

by Jovica Ilic
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Dubai Flashback: Roger Federer tops Tomas Berdych and passes John McEnroe

Roger Federer claimed his sixth Dubai crown in 2014 following a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Tomas Berdych. It was Roger's 78th ATP title, leaving John McEnroe on 77. The Swiss had struggled to deal with the world's best players for the past year and a half.

He had won just one tournament after Cincinnati 2012, entering Dubai as world no. 8, his worst ranking since November 2002! Roger kicked off the action with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Benjamin Becker, losing just 12 points on serve and moving over the top with three breaks of serve.

He had to work much harder against Radek Stepanek, giving serve away four times in a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 triumph after over two hours. The Swiss prevailed with eight breaks and set the quarter-final meeting with another Czech, Lukas Rosol.

Federer was more efficient this time, needing 58 minutes to wrap up the encounter 6-2, 6-2 and advance into his ninth Dubai semi-final, saving energy for more challenging matches.

Roger Federer claimed his sixth Dubai crown in 2014.

Federer came from a set down to dethrone world no.

2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, playing better and better as the match progressed and securing a place in the final. The clash between Federer and Berdych lasted two hours, and Roger notched his 12th victory in 18 encounters against Tomas.

The crowd's favorite overcame a slow start to cross the finish line first and celebrate the title. Both players struggled to find the first serve, and we saw ten break chances on each side. Roger fended off seven and earned four breaks to prevail and claim his first ATP title since Halle last June.

Federer opened an early lead with a break at love at 1-1. Tomas stayed calm, pulled the break back after a few minutes and delivered another to move 4-2 up and settle into an excellent rhythm. Serving for the set at 5-3, Berdych landed a service winner to grab the opener and come closer to his first Dubai crown.

Federer repelled two break points in the second set's fifth game with aces. However, his forehand went long on the third to send Tomas a set and a break up, with no room for further errors. The Swiss broke back in the next game when Berdych netted a backhand and had the momentum.

Roger claimed the last eight points of the set to seal it with a break in game ten for 6-4, setting up a decider where he was the favorite. Tomas saved three break chances at the beginning of the third set and earned one in the next game.

Federer denied it with a forehand winner and made the decisive move with a break a few minutes later that propelled him 3-1 in front. Roger cemented the lead with a hold at 15 but could have been more efficient the next time he served.

The Swiss fended off two break points in game seven to stay ahead and created two match points on the return at 5-2. Tomas gave his best to save them and prolong the match before Federer held at 15 with a service winner at 5-3 to wrap up the triumph and restore the Dubai crown he lost a year ago.

Roger Federer Tomas Berdych John Mcenroe
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