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Rediff.com  » Sports » Murray to play Roddick in Qatar Open final

Murray to play Roddick in Qatar Open final

January 09, 2009 23:50 IST

Defending champion and third seed Andy Murray continued his mastery over world number two Roger Federer when he defeated the Swiss 6-7 6-2 6-2 on Friday to reach the final of the Qatar Open.

Murray, who has a 5-2 head-to-head record over Federer including an exhibition event last week in Abu Dhabi, will meet American Andy Roddick in Saturday's final.

Roddick overcame the plucky resistance of Frenchman Gael Monfils to win his semi-final 7-6 3-6 6-3 earlier on Friday.

Federer played an attacking game in the first set, charging to the net often and hitting good volleys.

He went 5-4 up with back-to-back aces and was two points away from winning the set in the 11th game but allowed Murray to wriggle out of the tight spot and extend the set to a tiebreak.

In the second set Federer committed far too many unforced errors. Murray broke Federer's serve in the sixth and eighth games and won the set in 31 minutes.

At 2-1 up in the deciding set, Murray summoned the trainer to get his back massaged. When he resumed play, he relentlessly attacked the Federer backhand to gain a 3-1 lead.

Federer surrendered the final point by slamming an easy overhead into the net.

MEDICAL ATTENTION

Monfils, who knocked out world number one Rafael Nadal in the previous round, produced another thrilling display against Roddick but could not maintain the momentum.

The fifth-seeded Frenchman served for the first set at 5-4 but failed to press home the advantage and allowed Roddick to come back.

After taking an injury timeout to get medical attention for a sore back, Monfils returned well to break Roddick in the fourth game of the second set.

Monfils won 10 consecutive points to jump to a 4-1 lead and clinched the set in 33 minutes to level the contest.

Though he continued to play some phenomenal passing shots, Roddick remained undaunted.

After trading breaks midway through the deciding set, Roddick broke his opponent again in the eighth game before serving out the match in style.

"It was a very tough match but I stayed the course and I am happy that I won," Roddick said.

"There was very little to choose between the two of us. He played well, moving effortlessly and winning some tough and long points."

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