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Federer tops Murray for fifth Dubai crown



Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - Roger Federer captured his fifth Dubai Tennis Championships title Saturday with a straight-set victory over Andy Murray.

The second-seeded Federer earned a 7-5, 6-4 triumph for his second title of 2012 and the 72nd of his scintillating career. He was coming off a title in Rotterdam two weeks ago and has dropped just one set in winning his last nine matches.

"I've played great," said Federer. "I really thought I played a good tournament here. I played a great tournament in Rotterdam. The end of last year was exceptional, so it's nice to also win a tournament outdoors now. That gives me hope that I can carry it over to Indian Wells and Miami."

Murray, who knocked off world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Friday's semifinals, was gunning for his second title of 2012. He won the Australian Open tuneup in Brisbane before bowing out to Djokovic in the semifinals at the year's first Grand Slam.

Federer previously won this title three straight years from 2003-05 and again in 2007. He was the runner-up in 2006 and again last year. Saturday's victory gave him a career record of 72-30 in title matches.

Murray appeared to have the upper hand early on Saturday, winning his service games in easy fashion, and had a pair of break chances. Federer saved both, though, then picked up the only break of serve in the first set for a 6-5 lead and held serve to win it.

The Swiss superstar followed with an early break for a 2-1 lead in the second set, but quickly gave it back. It was the first service game Federer lost since the Rotterdam semifinals against Nikolay Davydenko. He then broke again for a 5-4 edge and quickly served it out to complete the victory. Murray saved one match point before Federer ripped a forehand winner to end it.

"I think second set he played better than me," Murray remarked. "For sure I made a few too many mistakes in the second, and he was playing a lot more aggressive than in the first set."

Federer improved to 7-8 lifetime against Murray in the first meeting between the two since the ATP World Tour Finals in 2010. Murray had beaten Federer in the round of 32 at this event back in 2008.

03/03 15:35:25 ET