Medvedev downs Murray to claim Doha title

February 26, 2023 5:00 am

[Source: Reuters]

Daniil Medvedev maintained his winning role to beat Andy Murray in the Qatar Open final and claim his second title in successive weeks.

Veteran Murray, bidding for his 47th career title but first since 2019, pushed the Russian hard but succumbed 6-4 6-4 in a battle of former world number one.

Medvedev also triumphed in Rotterdam last week and now has 18 Tour-level titles in his locker.

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He started strongly and was immediately into his baseline rhythm to win most of the lengthy exchanges, moving into a 4-1 lead with two breaks of serve.

Murray, who saved five match points on Friday against Jiri Lehecka to reach his 71st ATP final, also fell behind in the second set but hit back with a break of serve.

The British three-times Grand Slam champion had the momentum at 4-4 40-0. Still, Medvedev suddenly rediscovered his brick wall-like resilience to reel off five successive points, sealing a crucial service break as Murray over-cooked a volley.

Former U.S Open champion Medvedev double-faulted on his first match point in the following game but a superb lob completed the job when he had another opportunity soon afterwards against a weary-looking Murray.

For Murray, 35, it was his fourth ATP final since returning to the tour after having hip surgery in 2018 and, while he has lost three of those, he remains a force to be reckoned with.