Defending champion Roger Federer won his seventh Dubai Championships title and second of the year in defeating top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.
This marked the seventh consecutive year — 11th time in 13 years — that Federer or Djokovic won this title.
The only other tournaments Federer won seven times are Wimbledon, and Halle, Germany, both on grass.
“Ever since I won here the first time, I fell in love with the tournament,” Federer said. “The seventh is quite unbelievable. It sounds pretty crazy to me.”
Federer, who has 84 career titles, won in Brisbane, Australia, in January.
“He deserved it,” Djokovic said. “I expected that from him.
“I knew he was going to chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley.”
The 5,000-seat stadium was sold out, but many more people were standing around at the top. They were treated to a high-caliber match.
Federer needed five more aces to become just the fourth player since 1991 to serve 9,000 career aces. He served 12 in the final.
He joined Goran Ivanisevic (10,183), Ivo Karlovic (9,375), and Andy Roddick (9,074) in cracking the 9,000 aces mark.
It was her sixth career title and first since Qubec City in 2013.
“It's an amazing feeling. I'm so happy to win the title. It's been a long time. I'm happy at the way season has progressed,” said Safarova.
The Czech snapped wild card Azarenka's 14-match winning streak in Doha and also foiled the Belarusian's attempt to clinch a record third Qatar Open title.