DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Novak Djokovic successfully defended his Dubai Championships title on Sunday, beating Mikhail Youzhny of Russia 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 in a rain-delayed final.

The second-seeded Serb was leading 7-5, 2-0 when rain suspended play on Saturday. Djokovic won his 17th career title in a match lasting 3 hours, 21 minutes at the Aviation Club.

Djokovic was erratic on serve, winning 71 percent of points on first serve while also making 12 double faults.

"Honestly, I did not have the best tournament," Djokovic said. "I struggled for the most part and the only day I felt comfortable was yesterday, leading the first set and 2-0 when the rain came in.

"And when I came out today, I struggled again and Mikhail started playing really well. I thought the key point was keeping my serve when we were 3-3 in the third set. That was important as he had two break points."

Djokovic collected $383,000 and 500 ranking points for the victory.