Federer and Djokovic to face-off in Dubai semifinals

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Updated: February 27, 2014

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will face-off in a blockbuster semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Championships.

Djokovic had an easy day in the office when two times finalist Mikhail Youzhny was taken ill and unable to take to the court.

The Serb is returning to the tour for the first time since his shock quarterfinal exit in the Australian Open and would have preferred some time on court before taking on Federer.

Five times champion in the Emirate, Roger Federer might have spent more time on court than his next round opponent however he made light work of Lukas Rosol, the man who put Rafa Nadal out of Wimbledon 2 years ago.

Federer dropped a set against Stepanek yesterday and could easily have found himself on a plane early however today he was back to his best brushing aside Rosol in straight sets 6/2, 6/2, setting up a much anticipated semifinal against Djokovic.

Defending champion Djokovic, winner in Dubai 4 out of the last 5 years, will face the Swiss great for the 33rd time with the head to head count in a deadlock at 16 wins apiece however the Serbian former world number 1 has defeated his rival 7 times in their last 10 meetings, Federer’s last win coming in the final of the Cincinnati Masters in 2012.

Both Federer and Djokovic have two former Grand Slam winners in their coaching corners which should add some edge to the match, Boris Becker who works with Djokovic and his old rival Stefan Edberg who is with Federer.

In the other quarterfinals, last years runner up and winner in Rotterdam 2 weeks ago, Tomas Berdych, continued his good form with when he dispatched Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in straight sets, 6/4, 6/3 to set up a semifinal clash with number 7 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber who defeated Malek Jaziri 6/2, 6/3.

The pair have faced on 9 occasions with Berdych winning all but 1.