Federer demolishes Coric to move one win from 100th career title

Verdasco on why Roger Federer thinks Dubai courts are slower

Verdasco on why Roger Federer thinks Dubai courts are slower

Tsitsipas was last year's NextGen Finals champion, and has also won two ATP 250 titles - in Marseille last week and Stockholm in October.

Players of his age would normally be daunted by the task he faces on Saturday, but for Tsitsipas he simply needs to draw on his Australian Open four-set win over Federer back in January. "He showed me at the Australian Open how hard he is [to play]". I'm pretty sure he will come inside the court fired up, wanting to take revenge from me.

The rhythm of the match was interrupted a few times by rain and it was a tough day at the office for both players, with the more experienced out of the two prevailing to secure his 51st Dubai win and stay on the course for the ATP title number 100! "I'm incredibly excited about the final".

The Greek will enter the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time in his career thanks to the win, and awaits the victor of Friday's other semi-final as Federer faces sixth seed Borna Coric in pursuit of his career century. "At the end, I actually played really good".

Tsitsipas' run to the semis in Melbourne highlighted his potential as a future Grand Slam champion, with some deeming his last-16 victory over Federer as a changing of the guard. He closed out the win with an ace down the "T" - the flawless conclusion to a near-perfect performance, against a man who had beaten him in their two most recent meetings. I'm more focused just on my own game, to be quite honest, than him.

Federer needed just 68 minutes to beat the Croatian 6-2 6-2, breaking four times without dropping serve. "I was probably a bit more concentrated than usual. I was just playing, ." said the victor, who said he came to the court with some minor back pain and feared he might not be able to finish.

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Monfils won five games in a row to take the opening set after going down a break, but was pegged back in a tense second that Tsitsipas won on a tie-break.

But he has won all of his three most recent finals having only ever lost in the showdown match against Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray.

"I had some opportunities, I couldn't make them great today", said Monfils.

"I need to be better, that's it".

Beating Federer to prevent history and win his first ATP 500 title would be his biggest victory yet.

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