Andy Murray successfully defended his Doha crown following a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Andy Roddick in the final of the ExxonMobil Open in Qatar on Saturday.
Murray has now beaten Roddick in six of eight career meetings including the last three. The 26-year-old Roddick reached the finals after defeating Gael Monfils yesterday while Murray posted a third straight win over Roger Federer en route. Monfils had upset World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
The 1-hour, 10-minute win gives the 21-year-old Murray his ninth career title and his second in Doha putting him with Federer, Petr Korda and Stefan Edberg and the only other players to win multiple titles in Qatar.
Both players served exceptionally well during the match at 70% first serves each. But Murray dropped just seven points all day on his first offering, and saved the lone break point he faced while he converted all three break chances presented to him.
Roddick, who was making his first appearance in Doha since 2004, slips to 26-15 career in finals, and 2-10 vs. Top 10 players in title matches. He was in Doha with new coach Larry Stefanki.
After winning a second-best five titles in 2008, Murray becomes the first player to win an ATP title in the New Year and will likely assume the role of tournament favorite for the Australian Open which begins in Melbourne a week from Monday.
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