Joy of six for Federer in Dubai
Roger Federer produced another brilliant comeback to beat Tomas Berdych and win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for a sixth time on Saturday.
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Federer had beaten Novak Djokovic for the first time in 18 months on Friday, fighting back from a set down to deny Djokovic the 550th match win of his career.
And the 32-year-old had to dig deep once more to recover from a set and a break down against third seed Berdych, suddenly clicking into top gear to run out a 3-6 6-4 6-3 winner and secure his 78th tour-level title.
He is now clear of John McEnroe in third on the all-time title list with only Ivan Lendl (94) and Jimmy Connors (109) above him.
Federer squandered an early break of serve in the first set, losing four games in a row from 2-1 ahead and managing to get just 40 per cent of his first serves in.
The Swiss star then saved consecutive break points with aces in the fifth game of the second set, but sent a forehand wide on the next one to fall 3-2 behind.
Berdych, who had won his last meeting with Federer in the semi-finals here 12 months ago, failed to press home his advantage however, immediately handing back the break and then losing the last two games of the set without winning a single point.
The 28-year-old did manage to save three more break points on his first service game in the decider, but Federer was not to be denied and achieved the break in the fourth game.
Berdych came into the tournament on the back of his ninth ATP World Tour title in Rotterdam and kept his bid for back-to-back victories alive by saving two match points on his serve, but Federer held his nerve to serve out for the hard-fought win.
Federer said: "I was happy I was able to use momentum, win that second set, and then it was a tough opening period in the third, wasting the 0-40 game on Tomas' first service game. Then saving break points myself. Anything could have happened there.
"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."
The vanquished Berdych said "many things" went wrong for him as he blamed himself for the loss.
"The match started pretty well," he said. "I had really many chances, and then I basically just gave him the game and that's it.
"It's very disappointing for me the way I handled that situation. I was in the better shape and playing really well and made my chances, but unfortunately I didn't execute it in the end.
"I'm quite good in that I don't keep the losses in my head for a long time. I will definitely try to learn from the mistakes in the second set. I will just try to take positives from that and just leave all the negatives behind."