July 22, 2017

Murray wins first Dubai title

Britain’s Andy Murray, on Saturday saw off Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in straight sets to win the Dubai Championships for the first time.

The world number one dropped his first two service games but recovered to win 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 14 minutes.

It is Murray’s first tournament win of 2017 and the 45th of his career, which will see him extend his lead over Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

“I’m obviously very happy to do it here for the first time,” said Murray.

“It’s been a good start to the year.”

Murray went into the final with a 12-1 record against Verdasco, but the Scot made a slow start to the final, losing his first two service games and throwing in four double faults.

However, Murray managed to get himself level at 3-3 and was rarely troubled again.

The final proved a far more straightforward contest than his quarter-final against Philipp Kohlschreiber, which saw Murray save seven match points and win an epic 31-minute tie-break.

“Often when you get through matches like that it settles you down for the rest of the tournament.” said Murray.

“It’s been quite a few late finishes this week. Maybe the last couple of matches, I didn’t start as well as I would like. It’s been the same for all the players, a bit tricky with the rain. Once I got going today, I was moving well and I finished strong.”