Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Murray tames Verdasco to clinch maiden Dubai Duty Free tennis title

Murray tames Verdasco to clinch maiden Dubai Duty Free tennis title

It took over 30 minutes to find a victor in the second set tie-break as momentum swung both ways, Murray producing some sublime drop shots, while Kohlschreiber repeatedly found the line with his groundstrokes.

Andy Murray was only 20 when he first played at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships but already he was a star on the rise, ranked No11.

Spain's Verdasco will play his second semi-final of the season on Friday, facing Dutchman Robin Haase, a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victor over Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

In the second semifinal, Andy Murray got past Lucas Pouille 7-5, 6-1. The match really illustrated a match of two-halves, where Murray did extremely well to come through the first set in the way that he did and then stormed through his opponent in the second set to clinch the victory. "But once I got going I was moving well and I finished strong".

The Spaniard said: "I'll just try to recover and be as ready as possible".

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Murray's win improved his 2017 record to 11-2 as he seeks a 45th career title - he lost the 2012 final in Dubai to Roger Federer, his best performance at the event.

Still, the three-time Grand Slam champion is wary of Verdasco's ball-striking ability.

As is the style in Dubai, there were lavish celebrations: fireworks, bangers, dancers and one of the most distinctive trophies in tennis, a silver dhow like those that ply the creek here in Dubai.

"Obviously this week he's had some good wins", Murrry said of Verdasco.

Speaking after the match, Murray said: "I've never played a tie-break like that ever, not in juniors, nothing has been close to that". I maybe haven't started as well as I would have liked but it's been a good start to the year. "I'm very happy, it was a really complete match in all the ways that you can imagine". "So yes, he would like to come back next year "[smiling] if the tournament wants me". Murray fought off seven match points, including the one deflected by way of drop shot that no one saw coming, especially under those circumstances. The Serb won both past year.

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