ATP

Murray reaches Qatar Open final after another marathon match against Lehecka

By Sports Desk February 24, 2023

Andy Murray will play Daniil Medvedev in the Qatar Open final after the 35-year-old came through yet another lengthy contest in his semi-final against Jiri Lehecka.

Murray appeared to be on course for a routine win after taking the first set 6-0, but was broken early in the second, eventually losing 6-3 to take him to a fourth three-set contest in four matches this week in Doha.

Lehecka should have won a hard-fought decider when 5-4 and 40-0 up on his own serve, but Murray's trademark resilience saw him break back despite facing five match points against, before ultimately winning the tie-break 8-6.

"I don't know how I managed to turn that match around," Murray said after the win. "In the 5-4 game, I think I played most of the match points really well. He missed one bad shot on the deuce point in that game at 5-4, but I played the match points pretty well.

"It's been an amazing start to the year. I have never experienced this in my whole career, like this many matches... It was sort of looking [like it might be a quicker match] for 30 minutes and then it turned into something completely different. Yeah, just amazing that I managed to turn that around."

Murray equalled Jimmy Connors for the fifth-most ATP hard court wins in the Open Era (489), and will play Medvedev in the final after the Russian's 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win against Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The Canadian had three set points in the second set tie-break to try and force a decider, but Medvedev showed determination to turn it around and seal his place against Murray in the final.

At the Open 13 Provence, number one seed Hubert Hurkacz is through to face Alexander Bublik in the semi-finals, with both also having to come through three-set matches in a deciding tie-break.

Hurkacz was finally able to overcome Mikael Ymer 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) before Bublik defeated Grigor Dimitrov 7-5 3-6 7-6 (8-6).

Third seed Alex de Minaur was shocked by Benjamin Bonzi, who broke the world number 23 four times on his way to a 6-2 6-4 victory to avenge his third-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Bonzi will meet qualifier Arthur Fils in the final four after the French 18-year-old beat former world number three Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-3 to reach a second straight tour-level semi-final.

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