Defending champion Djokovic to face Murray in Dubai semifinals
March 1, 2012 -- Updated 2035 GMT (0435 HKT)
Novak Djokovic faced a tough battle against his Serbian rival Janko Tipsarevic in Dubai.
- Three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic reaches Dubai semifinals
- He beat fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic to revenge ATP World Tour Finals defeat
- Djokovic to face Andy Murray in repeat of their Australian Open epic
- Four-time champion Roger Federer also through to last four
(CNN) -- World No. 1 Novak Djokovic fought off fellow Serbian Janko Tipsarevic Thursday to earn a semifinal match in Dubai against third seed Andy Murray.
It will be a repeat of their epic last-four clash at the Australian Open in January, when Djokovic prevailed in five sets on his way to his fifth grand slam crown.
Both he and Murray are playing their first tournament since their Melbourne exertions but both have shown little signs of ring rust.
Three-time defending Dubai champion Djokovic saved a set point in the second-set tiebreaker before beating Tipsarevic 6-1 7-6, while Murray saw off the fifth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3 7-5.
Victory for Djokovic was revenge for a defeat to his Davis Cup teammate at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last November and he acknowledged that he was fortunate the match had not gone to a deciding set.
"He was very close to take that second set," the top seed told the official ATP website.
"Then who knows what could have happened. We both got a little bit nervous towards the end, I guess, and it was just luck to prevail."
I had a great match with him in Australia, and hopefully can reverse the result tomorrow
Murray claimed his first win over Berdych in seven years and made the perfect start to break the Czech in the second game of the opener to take a one-set lead.
The Scot twice broke in the second set, only for the big-hitting Berdych to retrieve them. But a further break in the 11th game proved decisive and he eventually claimed victory in one hour and 51 minutes.
"I had a great match with him in Australia, and hopefully can reverse the result tomorrow," Murray said of Friday's clash with Djokovic.
Meanwhile, second seed Roger Federer continued his quest for a fifth Dubai title and improved to 12-0 against Mikhail Youzhny with a 6-3 6-4 win over the Russia to reach the last four.
He will battle Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final after the Argentine got past fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 6-2.
It was eighth seed del Potro's second win over the Frenchman in a week, beating him in Marseille on the way to the title.
But he lost to Federer in this year's Rotterdam final and has a 2-9 record against the Swiss maestro.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.