Andy Murray survives 38-point tiebreak to reach Dubai semifinals

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Briton Andy Murray defeated Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to win the Dubai Tennis Championships title for the first time and claim his 45th career crown.

The world number one dropped his first two service games but recovered to win 6-3 6-2 in one hour and 14 minutes.

The second set was a one-sided affair as Murray won with a breadstick to set up a meeting with Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in Saturday's final.

His only disappointment came in January at the Australian Open - a tournament he entered as the overwhelming favourite only to suffer a shock defeat in the fourth round to German journeyman Mischa Zverev.

The routine win secured his first title in Dubai and will extend his lead at the top of the ATP rankings over Novak Djokovic, after the Serb was knocked out in the quarter-finals in Acapulco. Of the entirety of this duration, the second set tie-break itself went on for 31 minutes and six seconds, with a total of 38 points being played.

And Murray quickly wrapped things up, clinching the match with a powerful serve which Verdasco could find no response to.

Murray lost his first two service games of the match but overcame that poor start to win in Dubai for the first time.

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Speaking after the match, Murray said: "I've never played a tie-break like that ever, not in juniors, nothing has been close to that".

'As the match went on, I started serving a bit better and that helped me. He left me with very few options, and the few I had he also played good.

Andy Murray's been away for a while, but now he's back, and into another final.

"I want to keep that going now".

"He's number one in the world right now".

Verdasco had to wait for the victor of the second semi-final between top seed and tournament favourite Murray and Frenchman Pouille that was being played later on Friday.

The recovery began when Murray finally held serve in game five and the scores were levelled when he unleashed a winning cross-court backhand in the next for another break. Two points later, Murray shanked his forehand into the net to give Kohlschreiber his third match point with the scoreline reading 13-12.

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