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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 October 2007, 16:23 GMT
Murray triumphs in St Petersburg
Murray was rarely troubled by his woefully erratic opponent
Murray was rarely troubled by his woefully erratic opponent
Andy Murray eased to his third ATP title with a 6-2 6-3 win over Fernando Verdasco in the St Petersburg Open.

The 20-year-old Scot never allowed his Spanish opponent to settle, breaking in games three and seven as he took the opening set without breaking sweat.

And although Murray produced only rare flashes of brilliance, he managed to break twice more to clinch victory.

It lifted him to 11th in the ATP Race and boosted his chances of making the end-of-season Masters Cup in Shanghai.

David Ferrer became the sixth man to book his place on Sunday, joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko and Andy Roddick.

Murray is now just three points behind Tommy Haas in the eighth and final qualifying spot with only one ranking event - the Masters Series in Paris - to play.


But he is likely to face stiffer tests in France than Verdasco provided in a low-quality clash, although Murray was by no means the main culprit.

Right from the start Verdasco looked nervous and incapable of establishing any consistency with his main weapon, the forehand.

World number 16 Murray's first-serve percentage never got beyond the low 40s but it mattered little as his gameplan of keeping his opponent on the backhand side produced rich dividends.

Three wild swings from Verdasco were followed by Murray's brilliant cross-court forehand to effectively settle the outcome of the first set in the seventh game.

I came to the net at the right time and put a lot of pressure on his serve, so overall it was a pretty comfortable match for me

Andy Murray

And with the world number 30's forehand completely in disarray Murray completed a sequence of five straight games to go 2-0 up in the second.

Verdasco's problems seemed to be affecting the British second seed and the contest developed a pattern of booming forehands and deft drop-shots mixed with a host of unforced errors.

Three more mistakes provided Murray two match-points and a final netted forehand brought an untidy encounter to an end.

"I played a pretty solid match, not too many mistakes," Murray said. "I came to the net at the right time and put a lot of pressure on his serve, so overall it was a pretty comfortable match for me.

"I've been playing really well indoors this year and he hasn't played too many finals so I felt confident coming in."

Verdasco said the conditions at the indoor arena rather than nerves were to blame for his poor start.

"The problem was that not all the lights were on at the start of the match and by the time we had decent lighting I was already a break down," he said.

"It was difficult for me to get the serve back because he was serving very well and was gaining confidence as the match progressed while my confidence was getting low."



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