Djokovic thumps Federer, wins Dubai crown

Novak Djokovic of Serbia looks up during a changeover in his semi-final match against Tomas Berdych...

Novak Djokovic of Serbia looks up during a changeover in his semi-final match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at the ATP Dubai Tennis Championships, February 25, 2011. (REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh)

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, Last Updated: 1:23 PM ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Novak Djokovic continued his torrid start to the 2011 season with a straight-set victory over Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The second-seeded Djokovic needed a mere 71 minutes to post a 6-3, 6-3 victory on Saturday and claim the Dubai title for the third straight year. He also extended his season-opening winning streak to 12 matches, having captured the Australian Open last month.

Djokovic notched a straight-set semifinal win over Federer en route to his second career Grand Slam title in Melbourne and dominated again on Saturday to improve to 8-13 all-time against the Swiss superstar.

"I have this feeling in my head, and it's really important to know for me that I can perform this well," said Djokovic. "This match has probably been one of the best that I played this year."

A break in the third game of the match gave Djokovic a 2-1 lead and the Serb did not a face a break point during the entire first set. He broke again in the ninth game to claim the opening set.

Federer broke serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set and held in the next game before Djokovic completely took over. Djokovic won the next five games to finish the match, breaking serve in the sixth and eighth games.

"I guess I rose to the occasion," Djokovic noted. "I was aware of the fact that I need to be on top of my game in order to beat Roger. I was serving really well, especially the first set, holding my serve except that one game when I got broken, confidently through throughout the whole match. Just the perfect performance overall."

The top-seeded Federer was trying for his fifth Dubai crown. He won three straight from 2003-05 and claimed the crown again in 2007.

Federer was also denied his 68th career singles title and his second of the 2011. He won the season-opening event in Doha before bowing out to Djokovic in the Aussie Open semis.

"This one has been one of the rather disappointing matches for me against [Djokovic]," said Federer. "I can't play great every time either. So it's been a tough one, but I'm not too disappointed. It's another final for me. I tried tonight. Just didn't really happen for me."

Djokovic improved to 20-13 all-time title matches and is 3-3 lifetime against Federer in finals. He collected a first prize of $386,000.


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