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Djokovic to face Murray in Dubai

World number one Novak Djokovic beat fellow-Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 7-6 in the quarter-finals of the...

Sport

World number one Novak Djokovic beat fellow-Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 7-6 in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday to set up a meeting with Andy Murray in the last four.

Murray, who wasted six match points and overcame a knee injury to beat Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5, faces Djokovic for the first time since the Serb triumphed in a five-set epic in the Australian Open semi-finals in January.

Roger Federer is also through to the semi-finals after beating Mikhail Youzhny and will face Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on Friday.

Djokovic, seeking a fourth straight Dubai title, bullied Tipsarevic from the outset, breaking to go 3-1 ahead in the first set of their night encounter.

Tipsarevic, ranked a career-high ninth in the world, put up little resistance, netting a lazy backhand to give Djokovic a double break and an unassailable 5-1 lead.

He made a better fist of the second set, matching Djokovic's pounding groundstrokes in a series of ferocious rallies from the baseline.

Yet the bespectacled Tipsarevic remained erratic. Serving at 2-2, he dispatched three aces and two double faults in the space of six points as he eventually held.

The set went to a tiebreak. Tipsarevic, serving second, went 3-0 up with a brilliant forehand winner down the line.

Djokovic came back to level at 4-4, but a mishit gifted Tipsarevic a set point on serve. The 27-year-old's demons returned as he made another double fault and Djokovic eventually saw out the match with a forehand winner to clinch the tiebreak 8-6.

"It was a very tense second set," Djokovic said in a court-side interview. "Towards the end, we both had chances and both got quite nervous and made some unforced errors.

"We've known each other for a very long time and there are no secrets. We're very good friends, but we're both professionals."


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