In the more significant part of 2011, Roger Federer couldn't follow the pace set by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, winning the title in Doha in the opening week but staying away from the trophies in the next nine months.
That all changed after the US Open when he rattled off 17 straight matches to close the season in style, conquering Basel, Paris and the ATP Finals and gaining momentum before the start of 2012. Rafael Nadal halted the Swiss in the Australian Open semi-final before Federer won the Rotterdam crown and headed to Dubai, seeking the first desert title since 2007!
On the same day Andy Murray defeated him in the desert four years ago, Federer toppled the Briton 7-5, 6-4 in the title match on March 3 to restore one of his favorite tournaments' supremacy, wrapping up the week with two top-10 triumphs.
Roger needed an hour and 37 minutes to seal the deal and earn his fifth Dubai crown and the seventh victory over Andy in 15 encounters. Both players struggled to find the first serve, and it was Federer who drew the most from it, saving two out of three break chances and taking almost 40% of the return points for three breaks from nine opportunities.
The Swiss had more winners and the upper hand in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, staying in touch with Murray in the mid-range and more extended exchanges to prevail in straight sets and lift the title. Servers held after deuce in the match's opening games, and it was Andy who created the first break chances at 3-2 after Roger's backhand error.
Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray in straight sets to win Dubai 2012 crown.
The Swiss repelled them and won four straight points to close the game with a volley winner and stay on the scoreboard's positive side. Murray had to dig deep on his serve at 5-5, repelling four break points before Roger seized the fifth to secure a break and close the opener with three winners in game 12.
Carried by this momentum, Federer broke in the second set's third game when Murray sprayed a backhand error and cemented it with a hold at love before Andy pulled the break back in game six to increase his chances. The Briton saved a break point to win the third game in a row and go 4-3 up, although he sealed his fate when Roger broke him at 15 at 4-4 and served for the title in the next one.
Andy stayed in touch until deuce before Roger crossed the finish line with a forehand crosscourt winner to celebrate the season's second title and the first in Dubai since 2007.