Federer hopes he's regaining form
The Swiss struggled with back and racquet issues as well as his form in 2013, when he won his lone title of the year on the grass of Halle.
"I hope it's now," Federer told reporters. "It's all happening. Beating Novak on the hard courts here in Dubai, it's tough. This is a big step in the right direction for me. It gives me a lot of confidence."