Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Qatar Open after beating third seed Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals. Murray won the game 6-3 6-4 against Berdych, who had to undergo treatment on an ankle injury after the first set.
This will be the 19th time that these two shall meet in the final of an ATP tournament and the stakes are high owing to the fact that Murray dislodged Djokovic from the number one spot last year. The win has taken Murray to 28 consecutive ATP victories and he is looking in prime form ahead of the Australian Open later this month.
"I want to try and keep it going, I feel a little bit like this year's a fresh start," he told Eurosport, as quoted by the Mirror. "The end to last year was a great way to finish the year but it's great to be through to the final here and a great match against Novak tomorrow to look forward to.
"I played him at the end of last year and he was playing super aggressive there so I kind of expected that a little bit tonight. I saw his match yesterday and he was playing more aggressive maybe than in the past so I was maybe better prepared for it this time than at the end of last year."
Meanwhile, Djokovic got the better of Fernando Verdasco, surviving five match points to make it into the finals 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Verdasco, ranked 42nd in the world, stormed the first set and was in stepping distance of the final but Djokovic showed immense mental strength to make it past the tie break and set up yet another clash with Murray.
"I would like to say tough luck for Fernando, he was clearly the better player for the bigger part of the match and he should have won," Djokovic said after the game, as quoted by the Guardian. "It was just unfortunate. It's definitely one of the most exciting matches I've played. I don't think I've saved five match points too many times."