Swiss champion takes his sixth Dubai title with three set win over Tomas Berdych
Federer won a solitary title in 2013 but has enjoyed a promising start to 2014 season
The 32-year-old ends Berdych's 11-match winning streak to claim 78th tour title
Andy Murray loses in three sets to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in Mexico Open semi
Roger Federer came from set down against Tomas Berdych to claim a sixth Dubai Duty Free Championships title on Saturday.
The Swiss who rallied after losing the first set to Novak Djokovic in Friday’s semi repeated the trick against his Czech opponent in the final winning 3-6 6-4 6-3 to claim the 78th tour title of an illustrious career.
“Things definitely went my way out here tonight, but I have had a lot tougher matches in the last one-and-a-half years, so this is nice to get a lucky break again.”
Federer claims 78th tour title
Top five all-time ATP Tour title winners (singles)
Federer notched up a solitary title in 2013, beating Mikhail Youzhny on the grass of Halle last June as the 32-year-old struggled with a back injury.
But after hiring Stefan Edberg as a part-time coach at the end of last year (he wasn’t present in Dubai), Federer has enjoyed a promising start to 2014, reaching the finals of the Brisbane International and the semis of the Australian Open in January.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion led the Czech 11-6 in head-to-heads going into Saturday’s match, but Berdych had prevailed in their last two encounters, which including a three-set win at the semifinal stage in Dubai last year.
It was the big Czech who took an early lead, breaking in the sixth game before taking the opening set without alarm.
Another break of serve in the fifth game of the second set and Berdych looked odds on for back-to-back titles after winning in Rotterdam last month.
But Federer made the most of some unforced errors by the Czech in the next game to level and then broke himself in the 10th to level the match.
After saving a break of serve in the opening game of the third, Federer then made a crucial break in the fourth game before clinching victory and ending Berdych’s 11-match winning streak.
Federer’s win sees him claim third place outright on the list of all-time ATP Tour winners list, although it seems he is unlikely to go any higher.
In second place is Ivan Lendl with 94 wins with Jimmy Connors way out in front on 109.
Meanwhile at the Mexico Open, Andy Murray’s quest for a first title since Wimbledon goes on after he was defeated in the semifinal of the Mexico Open by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
The 22-year-old Bulgarian won 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) and will face South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in Sunday’s final.