DUBAI, March 4, 2017
Andy Murray is the champion of the 25th anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The World No. 1 wasted no time in securing his 45th tour-level crown and first in Dubai on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Fernando Verdasco of Spain.
Murray won 80 per cent of his first service points and broke serve five times to claim his first title of the season after one hour and 13 minutes.
Murray has now lifted trophies in four straight ATP 500-level events entered – also at London Queen’s Club, Beijing and Vienna in 2016 – posting a 19-0 record.
Top 10 players have now captured the past 15 editions of the prestigious hard-court event, with the Big Four of Murray, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal accounting for 13 of those titles.
“It’s nice to win and I played much better as the match went on. I started a little bit slow, but I was solid. I wasn’t afraid to attack his forehand side. He’s got one of the best forehands, but I tried to move him around the court as much as I could,” Murray told and added:
“I defended pretty well and moved well. I served a lot better as the match went on. It was obviously good to win the first tournament here.”
Despite the loss, Fernando Verdasco will return to the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since April 2015.
“I think that obviously I had, if not the toughest opponent I can have in the final, then one of them, for sure. He’s No. 1 in the world right now. It was obviously a really difficult final to win, but I came trying everything and giving everything,” the Spaniard said.
“I said that yesterday that being in the final of a 500 after five years is a great week for me and I have to take the positive things.”
Rojer And Tecau Win Doubles Title
Former ATP Finals champions Jean-Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Romanian Horia Tecau ended their title drought with their 13th victory as a team. The pair defeated Rohan Bopanna of India and Marin Matkowski from Poland 4-6, 6-3, 10-3 in one hour and 19 minutes.
The Dutch-Romanian duo have won titles at five different ATP World Tour 500 events, also including Washington, Beijing and Valencia in 2014 and Rotterdam in 2015.
“I think we’re on the right track. I don’t know if we set such specific goals this year. I know personally, and I think Horia feels the same, I just want to get better and improve. I feel like last year was not personally one of my best years. I feel like I could have done more.
“I look forward to doing that this year. I want to improve my tennis, improve my game, improve myself, that I can be a better partner for Horia on the court. I think if I have a better version of myself, then we are also a stronger team,” told Rojer.
“It was a difficult match. Bopanna won here three times. He’s obviously enjoying the conditions here and served well at the beginning of the match. He was returning well, too. Made it difficult for us.
“They played a really good game in the first set to break my serve. Other than that, I think the games were pretty clean on serve. That’s why we do well. We stay calm. We stay together. We look for solutions. We kept holding our serve. That was the main focus of the second set, to hold serve,” Tecau added.