Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on course for Dubai final
Novak Djokovic would have to win his next 30 matches to equal his unbeaten run in the first six months of 2011 but on the evidence of the world No 1's form at the Dubai Duty Free Championships you would not rule anything out. Djokovic, who is trying to win this title for the fourth time in five years, took his 2013 record to 11 wins from 11 matches by crushing Italy's Andreas Seppi 6-0, 6-3. He meets Juan Martin del Potro in today's semi-finals.
The world's top two players remain on course for a final showdown after Roger Federer beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2 in the day's final match to ensure that the top seeds all made the last four. The 31-year-old Swiss, who next meets Tomas Berdych, had won 18 of his previous 20 meetings with Davydenko and never looked in danger after breaking serve for the first time in only the third game.
The form of the top men was as hot as the weather on another day of rising temperatures. Djokovic, who has now won 16 matches in a row if you include last year's Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, was merciless in his demolition of Seppi. The 29-year-old Italian, a late developer who reached a career-high world ranking of No 18 last month, has won three titles since the summer of 2011, but rarely finds his best against the leading players. He has lost 38 of his last 39 matches against top-10 opponents.
Seppi won only three points on his serve in the first set and a big cheer went around the stadium when he won his first game at the eighth attempt. He improved a little in the second set, but on Djokovic's second match point the 25-year-old Serb thumped a typically emphatic drive volley winner. Djokovic, who won 15 out of 16 points on his first serve, said afterwards: "It was an even better performance than my first two matches, so I'm elevating the level, which is good."
Del Potro, had to save three match points before beating Marcos Baghdatis in the first round. He has also improved with every match and reached the last four with a crushing 6-4, 6-2 victory over the German qualifier, Daniel Brands. Del Potro beat Djokovic in the bronze medal match at last summer's Olympics, but the world No 1 has won their three subsequent meetings.
Berdych has yet to drop a set this week and beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-3, 6-2. Berdych has a good record against Federer, having won four of their last seven matches and beaten him in their last two Grand Slam matches, at Wimbledon in 2010 and at last year's US Open.
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