Murray Saves More Match Points Denying Lehecka, Will Face Medvedev For Doha Title

by Staff | February 24th, 2023, 4:45 pm
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Andy Murray continues to make magic. The 35-year-old won yet another deciding set and yet against saved match points in doing so. Murray edged 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka 6-0, 3-6, 7-6(8-6), saving five match points in the process.

The rising Czech star Lehecka served for the match at 5-4, 40-0 but collapsed under the weight of the win and Murray rose up and took the breaker, saving match points once again this week in Doha after doing so in his opener against Lorenzo Sonego.

The 70th-ranked Murray stormed out taking the first six games of the match. But the youngster settled down in the second and then after trading breaks in the third took the lead what appeared to be for a final time until the faltering.

“I don’t know,” Murray told the ATP of how he won. “That was one of the most amazing turnarounds I’ve had in my career. You obviously had the three match points at 5-4, but also when I was serving at 5-3, and then I don’t know.

“I knew it was his first time serving for a final, so I knew I had to try and keep the pressure on at the end. I know how difficult it is to serve matches like that out, but I’ve no idea how I managed to turn that one round to be honest.”

Murray moves into his 71st career final, 5th in Doha. He is seeking his 47th career title. Lehecka was vying for his 1st career final.

In the title match, Murray will seek a third Doha title against the 3rd-seeded Daniil Medvedev who upended 2-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(9-7) in a repeat of the Russian’s semifinal win last week in Rotterdam.

Medvedev broke the Canadian for the first set but couldn’t maintain a break lead in the second in he would have to save three set points.

“I managed to just stay in there and it was enough to win, but a very high-level match. Two hours for two sets,” Medvedev said.

He improves to a perfect 6-0 in tour-level head-to-head meetings with Auger-Aliassime.

Medvedev moves into his 29th career final. He is seeking his 17th career title and second straight in as many weeks.

Medvedev leads Murray 2-0 in their tour-level meetings. The 35-year-old Murray will seek his first title since 2019 Antwerp.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Medvedev of what Murray has done. “As soon as someone arrives at match point, that’s where the match starts. So I have to be at my best from the first to the last point tomorrow to try to beat him.

“He’s a legend. He’s playing better and better, I feel like, not only here but in general. This is amazing to see. He’s fighting. Today was just unbelievable, the way he won, so I’m really happy to face him tomorrow.”

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