The semifinals are complete at ATP Dubai 2015 (Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships) and neither of the Friday matches produced a surprise. The World No. 1 and the World No. 2 both advanced to Saturday’s final following victories.
The line scores for the semifinal matches are below:
(2) Roger Federer d. Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1
(1) Novak Djokovic d. Tomas Berdych 6-0, 5-7, 6-4
Federer, who has won ATP Dubai numerous times in the past, commented on his routine win over the 18-year old Coric following the match:
“Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning, but I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away,” said Federer. “I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realised what had worked until that point and what had not.”
Coric had defeated Andy Murray earlier in the Dubai draw. Federer, after playing the Croat, didn’t seem surprised with that result:
“I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game,” Federer stated. “He does a really good job for a big guy. It’s unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that’s such a huge part of today’s game, I believe.”
Coric, according to his webpage with ATPWorldTour.com, is only listed as 6’1″. Why Federer is calling him a “big guy” is not clear as both players are the same height.
The 6’1″ teenager, following his run to the semis in Dubai, can expect to be ranked in the Top 110 next week. With a win over Murray, Coric promises to gain a lot of confidence for future events. While he had to play quallies in Dubai should he improve his ranking a little more the Croat can hope to start avoiding the quallies in the future, at least for the bigger field events.
Commenting on the Federer match, Coric had some clear respect for the World No. 2: “He was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan.”
Djokovic had some trouble in his semifinal however he improved his heads-up record against Berdych to 18-2. The stage is now set in Dubai for a World No. 1 vs. World No. 2 showdown on Saturday.* On head-to-heads Federer holds a slim 19-17 lead over Djokovic.
*Previously we wrote that the final would be played on Sunday.