Murray beats Verdasco to claim Dubai Tennis Championships title
World number one Andy Murray (R) of Great Britain and Spain's Fernando Verdasco celebrate with their respective first and second-place trophies after the conclusion of their ATP final tennis match during the Dubai Duty Free Championships on March 4, 2017. Murray clinched his first title of 2017 and 45th of his career as he dominated Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2 to win the Dubai Tennis Championships, claiming the trophy in the emirate for the first time after losing the final five years ago to Roger Federer. KARIM SAHIB / AFP
Click here to add Abdul Rahman Falaknaz as an alert
Disable alert for Abdul Rahman Falaknaz,
Click here to add Andy Murray as an alert
Disable alert for Andy Murray,
Click here to add Colm McLoughlin as an alert
Disable alert for Colm McLoughlin,
Click here to add Doha as an alert
Disable alert for Doha,
Click here to add Dubai as an alert
Disable alert for Dubai,
Click here to add Dubai Duty Free as an alert
Disable alert for Dubai Duty Free,
Click here to add Fernando Verdasco as an alert
Disable alert for Fernando Verdasco,
Click here to add Hasher Al Maktoum as an alert
Disable alert for Hasher Al Maktoum,
Click here to add Kuwait Tennis Federation as an alert
Disable alert for Kuwait Tennis Federation,
Click here to add Miami as an alert
Disable alert for Miami,
Click here to add Ramesh Cidambi as an alert
Disable alert for Ramesh Cidambi,
Click here to add Salah Tahlak as an alert
Disable alert for Salah Tahlak,
Click here to add Shaikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah as an alert
Disable alert for Shaikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah,
Click here to add Sinead El Sibai as an alert
Disable alert for Sinead El Sibai,
Click here to add Tennis Emirates as an alert
Disable alert for Tennis Emirates
Andy Murray became the first British champion at the Dubai Tennis Championships, capping the tournament’s silver jubilee celebrations with a lopsided 6-3, 6-2 win to deny Spaniard Fernando Verdasco his first major title on Saturday.
The winner walked away with a cheque for $523,330 (Dhs 1.92 million) and 500 Emirates ATP ranking points, while Verdasco pocketed $256,565 and 300 ranking points. Easing into a seventh final in his last eight tournaments and 14th final in his last 16, Murray came in as the overwhelming favourite given his 12-1 career record against Verdasco. With a house-full crowd cheering him along, the Briton managed to help himself to a first-ever Dubai crown in just 73 minutes after six previous visits.
“It’s great to win the first title of the season, but what makes this one special is that it is the first one for me in Dubai and I am winning it when the tournament is celebrating its silver jubilee,” Murray said.
“I’ve struggled a bit this week with all those rain delays. But then it has been the same for all the players. However, once I got going then it was difficult to stop me,” he admitted.
The final consisted of two distinct parts. The first set was well-contested and close while, in the second set, nothing that Verdasco did yielded fruit as Murray took complete control to blow away his opponent.
After exchanging early breaks, Verdasco broke a second time and held for a 3-1 lead. But Murray took the next five games with breaks in the sixth and eighth games to serve out the set 6-3 in 38 minutes.
The second set was a contrast of sorts with Murray coming up with the first break in the third game and then hold on love for 3-1. From then on it was one-way traffic with the 29-year-old world number one returning everything that his Spanish opponent sent across the net.
Dubai was Murray’s first stop after his disappointing fourth round exit at the Australian Open. He had opened the 2017 season though with a final in neighbouring Doha where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Verdasco was disappointed he could not lay his hands on his first-ever ATP-500 trophy after coming so far into the week. “I am obviously happy to be here, but when you come so far and have to beat a world number one then it’s quite a tough thing to ask,” he said.
Murray and Verdasco next head to the American hardcourt swing starting off with Indian Wells and Miami. “It’s going to be a long 16-hour flight and I am happy to go there with this sort of momentum,” the world number one said.
Shaikh Hasher Al Maktoum, director general, Dubai Information Department and president of Tennis Emirates, was the chief guest and presented the trophies to the new champions in the presence of Shaikh Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, president, Kuwait Tennis Federation; Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, vice-president, Tennis Emirates; Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free (DDF); Ramesh Cidambi, COO, DDF; tournament director Salah Tahlak, and Sinead El Sibai, senior vice-president, marketing, Dubai Duty Free.
Andy Murray bt Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2