1 Mar 2010

Djokovic survives tantrum to claim Dubai Championship title

6:23 am on 1 March 2010

The World number two Novak Djokovic overcame a racket-smashing tantrum and a day-long rain delay to retain his Dubai Tennis Championship crown by beating Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 7-5 5-7 6-3.

A storm halted play on Saturday with Djokovic a set and a break up.

He started the make up day well, going three games ahead, before Youzhny -- runner up in 2007 -- stormed back to square the set at 3-all, breaking back after the Serb hit a cross-court shot into the net.

The players then exchanged further breaks, with Djokovic smashing his racket until it buckled after he double-faulted to put his opponent 5-4 up.

Youzhny eventually won the set as the Russian adapted better to the searing afternoon heat, markedly different to Saturday's cool evening.

Djokovic again raced into a 3-nil lead in the decider and although Youzhny broke to level at 3-3, the second seed upped his game.

The Russian hit a long forehand to allow Djokovic to serve out the match, the exhausted Serb collapsing to his knees in triumph.