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Classy Murray defends Qatar title

Andy Murray
Murray was in impressive form against his American opponent

Andy Murray successfully defended his Qatar Open crown with a majestic 6-4 6-2 victory over Andy Roddick in Doha.

The Scot showed no ill-effects from a back injury that saw him need treatment in his semi-final with Roger Federer.

Murray, 21, broke Roddick to go 3-2 up in the opening set and then controlled the second for his ninth career title.

"What excites me is that I don't think I'm close to my best tennis," said Murray, who is now favourite with some bookmakers to win the Australian Open.

"I still think I can play better and improve things.

"As in the last two sets against Federer I served very well. In one of the games Andy had a chance to break me, but when I got behind I served very well.

"On the big points I didn't give him too many chances to hit winners and when that happens it makes life easier.

"The semi-final and final matches were very good against two top players so I am very pleased. It is great to start the season with a title."

There were fears before the game that Murray would have to pull out of the match because of the back problem, with the Australian Open due to start in just over a week's time.


But he looked focused from the start and showed the form which gave him victory in an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week and which now sees him among the front-runners to win the year's first Grand Slam, which starts in Melbourne on 19 January.

After a couple of quiet games to start the match, Murray held to love to make it 2-2 and then broke his opponent to love in the next game with some neat net play and strong groundstrokes.

Roddick tried to stay in the set but Murray controlled matters and an ace soon helped him on his way to three set points, swiftly followed by another to clinch the set.

The American did well to hold at the start of the second set but he was unable to stop Murray breaking him in the third game with the Scot tightening his grip on the match.

Roddick, who had only beaten Murray twice in their seven meetings before this game, struggled to hold serve and he was broken a second time as Murray edged closer to victory.

Despite falling 0-30 on his own serve at 5-2 ahead and then seeing Roddick earn his first break point of the match, Murray recovered his composure and yet another crosscourt forehand and a backhand winner gave him victory.

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see also
Murray v Roddick as it happened
10 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Federer as it happened
08 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Tennis stars kick off 2009
04 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray's magical year
16 Nov 08 |  Tennis

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