Andy Murray survives 5 match factors to achieve Qatar Open closing vs Medvedev

Andy Murray celebrates his win towards Jiri Lehecka (not pictured) after the semi-final match of the Qatar Open. AFP

Former world primary Andy Murray was at a loss to elucidate how he saved 5 match factors Friday to beat Czech challenger Jiri Lehecka and attain the Qatar Open closing. The 35-year-old launched right into a roar of pleasure after the 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6) triumph that took him into his first ATP tour closing for eight months.

Murray now has to tackle Russian world quantity eight Daniil Medvedev who beat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) within the second semi-final.

“That was one of the crucial superb turnarounds of my profession,” mentioned Murray, a two-time winner in Qatar.

“I don’t know the way I managed to show that match round.”

Murray saved two match factors on his personal serve and three as his 21-year-old opponent tried to finish victory together with his personal large serve.

The British veteran, who had a hip alternative in 2019, has now come again from eight match factors in 4 matches on the Doha match.

He has fought two tie-breaks and been taken to a few units in each match this week.

“I’ve by no means skilled this in my complete profession,” he mentioned.

After he took the primary set with out shedding a sport in simply 32 minutes, Murray had believed this could be a better encounter — “after which it became one thing utterly completely different”.

Murray had one of the best of a nervy begin by each gamers. Thought of one of many hottest prospects on the tour, Lehecka, who beat prime seed Andrey Rublev within the quarter-final, served first, went 15-40 down, had two benefit factors after which let Murray take over.

The Czech rediscovered his large serve and highly effective returns for the second set when he broke Murray’s serve in straight video games.

Murray reclaimed two match factors on his serve within the deciding set and Lehecka had three extra when serving at 5-4. Murray took the sport and held his nerve within the tie break.

“This week may have ended very otherwise,” admitted the previous two-time Wimbledon champion.

“However the way in which that I’ve performed within the actually essential moments, the important moments, has proven that there’s a confidence and a perception in my sport that has been lacking for some time.”

Murray final reached an ATP closing in Stuttgart final June. He has not gained a match since Antwerp in 2019 and has misplaced to Medevedev in straight units in every of their two conferences.

Medevedev mentioned Murray’s efficiency in Doha has been “unbelievable”.

“I must be at my greatest from the primary to the final level,” mentioned the Russian.

“He’s a legend,” Medvedev added. “He’s enjoying higher and higher, not solely right here however on the whole. He’s preventing, it’s superb to see.”

The Russian has now overwhelmed Auger-Aliassime in all six matches they’ve performed, together with within the quarter-finals in Rotterdam final week the place Medvedev took the title.

Auger-Aliassime managed three set factors to take the second set and keep within the match however made errors within the tie break.

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