Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - World No. 1 and three-time champion Novak Djokovic secured a berth in Saturday's final at the $1.785 Dubai Tennis Championships.
The Australian Open champion extended his unbeaten streak to 17 matches by beating fourth-seeded former U.S. Open winner Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour, 44 minutes on the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium. Djokovic broke del Potro three times, while the tall Argentine settled for two breaks in the tight contest.
The sensational Serb Djokovic, who captured this Dubai event three straight years from 2009-11, is now 8-2 lifetime against del Potro, including wins now in their last four encounters.
The 25-year-old Djokovic will appear in his 45th career ATP final, seeking a 36th title. This marks his second final of 2013.
Djokovic's opponent on Saturday will be second-seeded Roger Federer or third seed Tomas Berdych. The amazing Federer, the reigning Wimbledon and Dubai champ, is eyeing a trip into an eighth Dubai finale. The Swiss icon beat U.S. Open titlist Andy Murray in last year's marquee championship match in the UAE.
Berdych was a runner-up in Marseille last week.
Federer is 11-5 lifetime against Berdych. The Czech slugger, however, won their last meeting in a U.S. Open quarterfinal back in September.
For the first time in the Dubai Tennis Championships' 21-year history the top- four seeds all reached the semifinals.