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.

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk