Photos by Nida Alibhai
Djokovic defeated fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 while Federer had a much easier time with lucky loser 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes.
“Even after the first set that went as perfectly as possible and when I was break up I knew that the match is not over,” said Djokovic. “I just wanted to stay on that level, but it was hard.
“I started making some unforced errors, backed up a little bit, less first serves in. Then he stepped in. From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”
“From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”
“I don’t know his game very well. Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning,” Federer said of being broken early in the match, “But I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away. I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realized what had worked until that point and what had not.”
“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,” said Federer. “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.”
“Yeah, I was. I was. I was nervous,” Coric said. “I knew that it’s going to be very tough, you know. But when you come on the court and actually feel the ball and feel the pressure which he’s making, it’s actually been tougher than when you’re watching it on the sofa in front of the TV.
“You know, he was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.”
For the 33-year-old Federer, it will be his ninth final, he’s won the tournament six times. Djokovic is trying to win Dubai for the fifth time.
Between Djkokovic and Federer they have claimed the Dubai trophy in 10 of the last 12 years dating back to 2003, with only Rafael Nadal in 2006 and Andy Roddick in 2008.
“When you play Roger, it’s always a great challenge,” said Djokovic about the final against Federer. “If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best.”
Federer holds a 19-17 career edge over Djokovic. The final will be their fourth meeting in Dubai and second in the final.
RESULTS – FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY 2015
Singles – Semi-finals
 N. Djokovic (SRB) d  T. Berdych (CZE) 60 57 64
 R. Federer (SUI) d [LL] B. Coric (CRO) 62 61
Doubles – Semi-finals
 R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d  J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 46 76(9) 11-9
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) 67(2) 64 11-9
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2015
CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs  R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs  R. Federer (SUI)