Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Top-seeded four-time champion Novak Djokovic and six-time titlist Roger Federer were easy winners, while Croatian teenager Borna Coric ousted former runner-up Andy Murray in Thursday's quarterfinal action at the $2 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
The world No. 1 Djokovic blew past Turkey's Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 6-1 in a mere 49 minutes to set-up a semifinal showdown with reigning two-time Dubai runner-up Tomas Berdych.
"He lacks a little bit of experience and confidence on being in the big stadium," Djokovic said after crushing Ilhan. "That's where I used my opportunity from the start. I made a double break, and I felt like I was in control of the match. I didn't allow him to get into the groove."
The second-seeded former world No. 1 great Federer was handling former top-10 Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-1 after one set when Gasquet retired due to a back injury on Day 4.
"I think I played well," Federer said. "I served well. Then again, the test was so short that it's tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But, you know, I think I was hitting the ball well again, like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually."
Federer and Djokovic have combined for the last six and 10 of the last 12 championships in Dubai.
The Wimbledon runner-up Federer's semifinal opponent on Friday will be the rising 18-year-old Coric, who whipped the third-seeded Murray 6-1, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Aviation Tennis Centre.
It marked the lucky loser Coric's second career win against a top-10 player, after he converted on four-of-eight break-point chances on Thursday. The world No. 84 beat Rafael Nadal en route to the Swiss Indoors semifinals back in October.
"[It's] one of the biggest wins, for sure," said Coric after taking out the two-time Grand Slam champion Murray. "I was just trying to maintain my level, stay in the rallies as long as I can, which I was doing really well. I was also running very well.
"I'm still a little bit struggling with the best players when they are playing really good obviously. I always need to be on 100 percent, and when I'm on 100 percent, mentally [and] also tennis wise, then I think I can play with them."
Last month's Australian Open runner-up Murray was the 2012 Dubai runner-up to Federer.
"He didn't make many errors," Murray said of Coric. "He played very solid and he moved well. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points."
Another quarterfinal result saw the fourth-seeded two-time Dubai runner-up Berdych sneak past Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Berdych lost to Federer in last year's final here.
On Friday, Berdych will try to improve upon a dismal 2-17 lifetime record versus Djokovic, which includes a loss in the 2013 Dubai finale and a 2011 semifinal here.
This year's Dubai champ will earn $505,000.