TennisSaturday, March 1, 2014
Federer floors Djokovic in Dubai semis
Lorenzi upsets Mónaco in Brazil Open quarterfinals
Roger Federer rolled back the years to stun Novak Djokovic 3-6 6-3 6-2 in the semifinals of the Dubai Championship. Juan Mónaco was eliminated from the Brazil Open quarterfinals by Paolo Lorenzi.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Fourth-seeded Roger Federer ended top-seeded Novak Djokovic’s chance of defending his Dubai Championships title with a 3-6 6-3 6-2 semifinal win yesterday.
Federer will be looking for his sixth Dubai title when he plays third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in today’s final.
Berdych reached his second consecutive Dubai Championships final with a tough 7-5 7-5 semifinal win over seventh-seeded Philiipp Kohlschreiber of Germany.
Federer now leads Djokovic 17-15 in their career head-to-head meetings. He also leads Djokovic 13-12 when competing on hard courts.
“He deserved to win,” Djokovic said. “He played in the second part of the match better and was more aggressive and played all around the court really well.”
Djokovic had won their last three matches and nine of their last 12 matches. He’s twice won three consecutive matches against Federer, but never has won four in a row.
“Right now I’m just happy that I was able to win the match,” Federer said. “I don’t care so much about the head-to-heads. But it’s nice to be in the finals here in Dubai again.”
For the first set-and-a-half, Djokovic looked as if he would have an easy time reaching the final.
Djokovic established an early lead when Federer lost his serve in an error-filled second game of the first set. Serving at 5-3, Djokovic won the first set on his third set point of the game with a clean ace down the middle.
Midway through the second set, it seemed as though Federer remembered that his new part-time coach Stefan Edberg, who is not in Dubai, is urging him to play more offensively.
From that point on, Federer started to come into the net and volley more often, which was an effective strategy that Djokovic couldn’t handle.
In the second set, Djokovic surrendered his serve in an error-riddled sixth game to put Federer in position to even the score at one set apiece.
Federer broke Djokovic’s serve in the first and fifth games of the third set to set up the win. In the final game, Federer saved two break points when serving for the match in the final game.
BRAZIL OPEN. Paolo Lorenzi of Italy reached his first ATP semifinal by upsetting fourth-seeded Juan Mónaco of Argentina 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 at the Brazil Open yesterday.
The 114th-ranked Lorenzi broke Mónaco’s serve to go up 4-3 in the decisive set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 34 minutes at the Ibirapuera Arena.
The 32-year-old Italian squandered a match point before losing the second set, but was in control in the third to pick up the win in the ATP 250 tournament in South America’s biggest city.
Lorenzi, who had 12 aces, made it to the semis for the first time after five quarterfinal losses in his career.
The 43rd-ranked Mónaco, a former top 10 in the world, was trying to win his 200th clay-court match. He is the fifth-greatest winner in the surface, behind Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo and Nicolás Almagro.
The Italian will play top-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany, who defeated Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-3 5-7 6-2.
In the other quarterfinal yesterday, Federico Delbonis of Argentina easily beat Alberto Montañés of Spain 6-4 6-3 in just over an hour. He will play either home-crowd favourite Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil or Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who were playing last night at press time.
The 61st-ranked Delbonis had upset three-time Brazil Open champion Almagro in the second round.