Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic met twice at the start of the 2012 season. The Briton made a strong finish to the previous season and reached the Australian Open semi-final at the beginning of 2012. Novak Djokovic beat him en route to his title defense, and they met again in the Dubai semi-final.
It was the 12th encounter between the coevals. Murray grabbed his fifth victory, beating Djokovic 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 23 minutes to set the final match against Roger Federer. The Briton fended off two out of three break chances and stole 42% of the return points.
He turned them into four breaks from five opportunities to control the pace and close the match after a tight second set. Andy had more winners than unforced errors, while Novak sprayed too many mistakes, unable to find the rhythm on the return or impose his shots in the rallies.
The Serb held at love in the opening two service games. That changed at 2-3 when his forehand landed long, pushing Murray in front before creating two break chances in the next game.
Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2012 Dubai semi-final.
Andy stayed calm and took four straight points, closing the game with a service winner to extend the advantage to 5-2 and take a big step toward the opener.
Losing ground in those moments, Novak got broken at 15 in game eight after Andy's backhand winner, allowing the opponent to wrap up the opener in 30 minutes. Things went from bad to worse for the Serb. He sent a forehand wide in the second set's second game to suffer a break at 15 before Andy opened a 3-0 advantage with a backhand down the line winner in the next one.
With no room for errors, Novak held at love in game four but could not do much on the return in games five and seven, serving to stay in the match at 2-5. The Serb held at 15 in game eight to reduce the deficit and broke back in the last moment a few minutes later to prolong the set and gain a massive boost.
The defending champion leveled the score at 5-5 when Andy netted a forehand, looking better and better and trying to provide a complete turnaround and steal the set. The Briton delivered a much-needed hold at 15 with an ace that sent him 6-5 up.
Andy ended his downfall and created two match points in the next game after Novak's backhand mistake. The Serb netted a forehand to hand the game and the match to Murray, who faced Roger Federer in the final the next day.
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