ATP Doha: Marathon man Andy Murray edges Alexander Zverev

Andy Murray toppled Alexander Zverev after three hours and two minutes

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Doha: Marathon man Andy Murray edges Alexander Zverev

Andy Murray debuted in Doha 16 years ago, losing in the final to Ivan Ljubicic and claiming the title a year later. The veteran can still play well in Doha, scoring two wins this week and reaching the quarter-final. Murray took down Alexander Zverev 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 in three hours and three minutes, embracing another marathon and emerging at the top.

Andy recovered after the second set and delivered a late break in the decider to seal the deal and advance into the last eight. Zverev experienced another setback despite giving his everything, suffering the sixth loss of the season and still waiting for a notable run on his comeback trail from injury.

The German won three points more thanks to the second set, but not the crucial ones. He fired 11 aces but struggled on the second serve as much as Murray. The Briton saved seven out of 11 break points to remain in touch. He broke the rival three times and made the difference with the one in the closing stages.

Andy Murray prevailed over Alexander Zverev in Doha.

Alexander built a slight edge in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, and Andy reduced the deficit in the most extended ones. Zverev grabbed an early break in the encounter's third game but hit a double fault in the next one to bring Murray back to 2-2.

Alexander pushed strong on the return in game nine and grabbed a break with a smash winner at the net. He served for the set at 5-4 and got broken at 15 following Andy's backhand return winner. The German saved a set point on his serve in game 12 with a touchy volley winner and introduced a tie break.

The first mini-break came in the tenth point when Alexander netted a routine backhand, offering his rival two set points. Murray seized the second on his serve to wrap up the opener after a grueling 76 minutes. Zverev made a fresh start in the second set, serving well and keeping the pressure on the other side.

He broke Murray in the second game for an early advantage and delivered another return game at 5-2 with a smash winner to introduce a decider after two hours. The German wasted a chance to break the rival's resistance in the third set's first half.

He produced comfortable holds and earned a break chance in games two and four. Murray survived them and remained on the positive side. Both players served well in the upcoming games to lock the result at 5-5 and increase the drama.

Alexander dropped five points in the opening five service games, and it all changed in game 11. Andy drew the rival's backhand error to grab a break at 15 and serve for the victory. The Briton held at 30 in the 12th game following a mighty defense and a backhand crosscourt winner that pushed him into the quarter-final.

Atp Doha Andy Murray Alexander Zverev