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Murray beats Djokovic; Federer awaits in Dubai

MYT 1:55:00 AM

DUBAI (Reuters) - Novak Djokovic lost his chance to repeat his incredible 2011 run after succumbing 6-2 7-5 to Andy Murray in the semi-finals of the Dubai Championships on Friday.

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their semi-final match at the Dubai Tennis Championships, March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

The Serbian world number one had strung together an incredible 41-match winning streak at the start of 2011, during which he won seven titles, before eventually being beaten by Roger Federer in the French Open semi-finals.

But Murray made sure Djokovic's ride would not be as smooth this season as he avenged his five-set Australian Open semi-final loss in devastating fashion on Friday.

The Briton, 24, will now face 16-times grand slam champion Federer in Saturday's final after the Swiss edged past Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 7-6.

Djokovic started strongly, holding his opening two service games to love but from 2-2 a pumped-up Murray then won seven games in a row to claim the first set and go 3-0 up in the second on a balmy evening in Dubai.

Roared on by 5,000 fans, Murray served for the match at 5-3 and nerves got the better of the world number four, double-faulting as Djokovic, 24, earned two break points.

A netted backhand from the Briton then enabled Djokovic to pull it back to 5-4 and the set appeared to be heading for a tiebreak. However, Murray roused himself to break again and seal victory after the Serb clubbed a forehand into the net.


Federer, who lost to Del Potro in the 2009 U.S. Open final, saved four set points in a second set tiebreak to storm back from 6-2 behind to win it 8-6 and seal a final berth after the towering Argentine clubbed a forehand long.

With no breaks of serve in the entire match, the first set also went to a tiebreak, Federer squandering five set points before clinching that first tiebreak 7-5, a thunderous serve setting up the Swiss to come inside and play a forehand winner into the corner.


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