Roddick, Murray Meet Saturday in Doha Final

Posted on January 10, 2009

No. 3 seed and defending champion Andy Murray meets No. 4 seed Andy Roddick in Saturday’s championship of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. It is the first all-Top 10 ranked final in Doha since 1993 when No. 5 Boris Becker defeated No. 4 Goran Ivanisevic in the tournament’s inaugural year.

The No. 4-ranked Murray and No. 8-ranked Roddick each have dropped only one set en route to the ATP World Tour 250 final. Murray is trying to become the fourth player in tournament history to win two titles in Doha and join Roger Federer (2005-06), Petr Korda (1996, ’98) and Stefan Edberg (1993-94). This is the eighth career meeting between the two, the first in an ATP World Tour final. Murray is 5-2 against Roddick.

Winner: $183,000 and 250 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points
Runner-up: $96,250 and 150 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points
Roddick: Appearing in his 41st career ATP World Tour level final…He is 26-14 lifetime in finals
Murray: Appearing in his 14th career ATP World Tour level final…He is 8-5 lifetime in finals

Roddick, 26, leads the tournament this week with 40 aces and a first serve percentage of 75%…He also is No. 2 in service games won (88%, 38 of 43 games held) and No. 4 in return games won (34%, 14 of 41 games) after winning 20% of return games last season.. He is the third American to reach the Doha final in the tournament’s 17-year history, the first since Jan-Michael Gambill in 2003 (l. to Koubek)…Jim Courier is the only American winner in 1997 (d. Henman)...This week has defeated Spaniard Ivan Navarro 61 63, Frenchman Arnaud Clement 63 75, Romanian Victor Hanescu 63 62 over Romanian (had 84% first serve percentage mark) and No. 5 seed Frenchman Gael Monfils 76(1) 36 63...The top American is trying to win an ATP World Tour title for a ninth straight year…Came into this season tied with Federer having won a title for eight consecutive years…Has a 26-14 finals record (2-9 vs. Top 10 opponents in title matches)...He is making his first appearance in Doha in five years…He was the top seed in 2004 when he lost to Jonas Bjorkman in the 2nd Rd...Finished in the Top 10 South African Airways 2008 ATP Rankings for the seventh consecutive season at No. 8.

The British No. 1 is attempting to defend his third career ATP World Tour title, having accomplished the feat in San Jose (2005-06) and St. Petersburg (2007-08)…Has an 8-5 career record in finals (1-4 vs. Top 10 opponents with lone win over No. 3 Djokovic in ’08 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati)...Leads the tournament this week in 1st serve points won (81%), service games won (93%, 38 of 41 games held) and No. 2 in return games won (39%, 16 of 41 games)...Has posted wins over Spaniard Albert Montanes 62 64, Philipp Petzschner 62 64, Sergiy Stakhovsky 64 62 and World No. 2 Roger Federer for the third straight time 67(6) 62 62...Has a 13-1 career record in Doha with his only loss coming in 2007 final (l. to Ljubicic)...In 2008, compiled his best season by winning a career-high five ATP titles (second to only Nadal’s eight) and reaching his first Grand Slam final...Became first British player to win five titles in a year in Open Era and first Briton to appear in a Grand Slam final since Greg Rusedski at US Open in 1997. (