Djokovic Outduels Murray in Thriller to Defend Doha

Doyle BarkerJan 08, 2017

Novak Djokovic has dealt a major psychological blow to Andy Murray after edging the world no.1 6-3 5-7 6-4 in a thrilling encounter in the Qatar Open Final.

The world number two won his second round match 6-3, 6-4 in just 72 minutes in Doha, thanks to a break of the Argentinian's serve in each set. I would like to say tough luck for Fernando, he was clearly a better player for a bigger part of the match and he should have won this match.

"I guess I had to get more time to get the engine started", Djokovic said.

"All the way, to the last shot, you never know with Andy ..."

The other quarter-final will pit third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic against fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, who beat Dustin Brown of Germany 6-1, 6-3.

"Credit to Zeballos for playing some fearless tennis", said Djokovic, the defending champion.

"Physically, it was a good test to start the year", Murray said. But Djokovic didn't let this opportunity go waste and sealed victory on his fourth match point.

Murray broke back in the eighth game of the opening set before securing it on a tie-break.

Murray was down and out in the match with Djokovic dominant and serving 5-4 with three match points.

Twelve months ago Djokovic began the year beating Murray in Melbourne to claim his sixth title at the event - but the landscape has now changed with Murray in the ascedency. Yesterday, Murray managed to save three match points and it looked like Djokovic would be given a taste of his own medicine but thankfully for the Serb, history didn't repeat itself. Forehand worked very well, with deep and strong shots that kept Murray out of balance or the position to impose his game.

"Today was a flawless example of the depth in the men's games just now", Murray said. Despite 3 match points he had, Andy refused to surrender and he saved all of them to score his first break of the match and to prolong this spectacular clash.

Suddenly, Murray was on the backfoot as Djokovic broke him in the next game.

Murray battled to stay level early on but it was Djokovic who took the lead once again in the second set.

The world number two played a phenomenal deciding set - showing great resilience after Murray had turned the second set on its head.

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