Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on course for Dubai final

 

Dubai

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.

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable