Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were the leading stars of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2005 draw, entering as the 1st and 4th seeds. On February 22, the organizers invited Federer and Agassi to exchange some balls on a slightly different tennis court placed on the helipad of the super luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel, more than 200 meters above sea level!
Roger and Andre enjoyed a friendly hitting on a grass court for 20 minutes, firing some balls from the edge of this fantastic landscape. Seven years later, Roger had the opportunity to do the same against Novak Djokovic. After winning the Doha title in the season's opening tournament and reaching the Australian Open semi-final, world no.
1 Federer conquered Rotterdam and traveled to Dubai straight away. The Swiss couldn't make a quick transition from indoor conditions easily, struggling to find the rhythm in the opening matches against Ivo Minar and Juan Carlos Ferrero, who had two match points in a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 defeat.
After two tight victories, Federer defeated Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 13 minutes to gain momentum ahead of the anticipated Andre Agassi clash.
Roger Federer and Andre Agassi enjoyed at Burj Al Arab hotel helipad in 2005.
Roger needed only 52 minutes to oust the veteran 6-3, 6-1, fending off all three break chances and delivering four breaks to control the scoreboard and advance into the title clash.
In the trophy battle, Roger defeated his current coach Ivan Ljubicic 6-1, 6-7, 6-3 to earn the third consecutive Dubai crown. "This was an absolutely amazing experience. When you first get over how high you are and start playing, it's an absolute joy, and it was a great time.
I had no issues with the height as long as I didn't have to bungee jump off the side," Andre Agassi said. "The view is absolutely amazing here, and it was very different when I was asked to do this as I didn't know what to expect.
I have been in Dubai many times and have stayed at Burj Al Arab before, but this was an absolute treat. To play tennis with Andre on top of such an amazing hotel and overlooking the whole of Dubai was absolutely spectacular," Roger Federer said.