The third-seeded Roger Federer ended top seed Novak Djokovic’s chance of defending his Dubai Championships title with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 semifinal win here on Friday.

Federer will be looking for his sixth Dubai title when he plays third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic in Saturday’s final.

World number six Tomas Berdych continued his new-found run of good form when he reached the final for the second successive year.

Berdych had not won an ATP Tour title for 16 months until he won Rotterdam this month, but the 7-5, 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber, the seventh-seeded German was his 16th win in 17 matches.

Federer now leads Djokovic 17-15 in their career head-to-head meetings. Federer saved two break points when serving for the match in the final game.

Berdych pleased

Speaking about his win Berdych said, “It feels absolutely great. I am pleased with today because it was a really tough win. “It’s a pleasure getting to the final again here, a tournament which has such a strong field “My rhythm is much better than it was. It is important for me to be hitting the ball nicely and then my game really works.”

Murray escapes to win

At Acapulco, Andy Murray rallied from a set and a break down against Gilles Simon to advance to his first semifinal since he won last year’s Wimbledon title while top seed David Ferrer retired with a thigh strain at the ATP Acapulco Open.

Second seed Murray twice fell behind in the second set but recovered both breaks immediately to eke out a 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory and stretch a winning streak against his French opponent to 12 matches.

Murray’s semifinals opponent will be Grigor Dimitrov.

The results: At Dubai: ATP Dubai Duty Free championships: Semifinals: Roger Federer bt Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Tomas Berdych bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-5, 7-5.

At Sao Paulo:

ATP Brazil Open: Second round: Thomaz Bellucci bt Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3; Juan Monaco bt Albert Ramos 7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5; Paolo Lorenzi bt Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4, 6-3; Martin Klizan bt Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-3.

At Acapulco: ATP/WTA Acapulco Open: Men: Quarterfinals: Kevin Anderson bt David Ferrer 2-6, 4-2 (retd.); Aleksandr Dolgopolov Jr. bt Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6(4); Grigor Dimitrov bt Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 7-6(2), 7-5; Andy Murray bt Gilles Simon 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2.

Women: Quarterfinals: Dominika Cibulkova bt Marina Erakovic 6-4, 7-5; Shuai Zhang bt Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 5-7, 6-2; Christina McHale bt Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 2-6, 6-4; Caroline Garcia bt Eugenie Bouchard 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

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