Daniil Medvedev stops Andy Murray Heroics to take Qatari title Sport-rated
Daniil Medvedev defeated fellow former world number one Andy Murray 6-4, 6-4 in the Qatar Open final on Saturday to win his second ATP title in a week. The 27-year-old world number eight, who won in Rotterdam seven days earlier, convincingly ended his 35-year-old opponent’s heroic comeback that saw Murray fight four three-set battles and overcome eight match points to reach to the final in Doha.
Medvedev broke Murray’s first serve in each set and remained unbeaten in three meetings between the two. “A very tough match, today it was a bit more windy, so it was hard for both of us to find the rhythm,” Medvedev said on the court where he also complained about the balls.
“Honestly, now that I can say this now that the tournament is over and I also won, I think these balls are not good for hard courts.
“They changed something this year and I don’t like them. I heard that many other players have problems with their shoulders, elbows and wrists.
“I had wrist problems myself in Australia. Overall I think I’ve been struggling all week to find the perfect rhythm with these balls, but I’m happy to win.”
Medevedev said that both players had their “bad” moments in the match. The Russian fired five aces but also committed five double faults. Murray repeatedly yelled at himself and his support team after the mistakes.
Medvedev seemed to be cruising to victory in the second set until he was serving 3-2 up with two game points. Murray fought back and produced a brilliant backhand winner to return to the clash at 3-3.
At 4-4, Murray led 40-0 in an attempt to produce another clash, but the Scotsman let Medvedev return to the game for the key break that decided the title.
“Daniil is one of my favorite players to watch and one of the best on tour,” said Murray, who acknowledged that he had had an “incredible week.”
Murray saved three match points in his first round game and five against Czech challenger Jiri Lehecka in his semifinal.
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