Andy Murray wins Dubai!
The World no. 1 beat Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, 6:3 6:2 to win his first Dubai crown and his 45 career title.
Murray started slow and was broken by Verdasco in the opening game. After 3 games, there where 3 breaks of serve. Verdasco finally held his serve for a 3:1 lead. Finally at 1:3 Murray also managed to hold his serve and followed with a break of his own to bring the set to level terms. Then he followed with another strong service hold, broke Verdasco serve again, and never looked back. He took the first set 6:3. In the second set Verdasco looked more and more rattled. He misfired many of his shots and quickly found himself on the losing end when he gifted yet another service break to Murray for a 5:2 lead. Murray quickly finished the match with a strong serve, too powerful for Verdasco to return.
In his post match interview Andy said, “It’s always nice to win any tournament but especially ones you haven’t won before, so obviously I’m very happy to do it here for the first time. It’s been a good start to the year. I played a good match today. It’s been quite a few late finishes this week and the last couple of matches I didn’t start as well as I’d like. The conditions have been a difficult with some stopping and starting. But once I got going I was moving well and I finished strong.”
Verdasco also commented on his performance, "I think that obviously I had, if not the toughest opponent I can have in the final, then one of them, for sure. He’s No. 1 in the world right now. It was obviously a really difficult final to win, but I came trying everything and giving everything. I said that yesterday that being in the final of a 500 after five years is a great week for me and I have to take the positive things. Obviously, forget about that 200 points that I could have won today, because it's already gone. I'm happy that I tried everything, even if the things were not coming my way and I didn't really have my best day. But I tried and I fought. It was just not coming."
The road to the title was tough for Andy. After two easy wins against Malek Jaziri in the first round and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second, Murray faced an in-form Phillip Kohlschreiber in the quarter final. Things didn't look good for the Scot when he lost the first set in a tiebreak and found himself fighting for survival in the second set’s tiebreak. In one of the longest tiebreaks ever, Murray saved 7 (!) match points to finally take the set 7:6(18)! after 31 minutes of play. In the 3rd Kohlschreiber looked physically and mentally exhausted, he started misfiring his shots more often than not so Murray wrapped things quickly 6:1. He went on to win his semi final against Lucas Rouille 7:5 6:1 to set up a final against Verdasco.
Both players will be next heading to Indian Wells for the BNP Paribas Open, the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year