Dominant Murray wins Qatar open

Scot's superior quality shows as he beats Wawrinka ahead of the Australian Open.

    The victory will push Murray up the rankings, keeping him away from
    top seeds in grand slams until the later rounds  [AFP]

    Andy Murray has won the Qatar Open, beating Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, in Doha.

    The win in Murray's first tournament of 2008 takes his personal tally to four singles titles.

    Murray, ranked number 11, said: "I was a bit nervous at the start. I think both of us were.

    "We made a lot of errors at the start of the match, but towards the end of the first set the standard really improved, both of us were playing really good tennis.

    "It was a fun match to play in. I'm good friends with Stan so it was a shame that one of us had to lose."

    Greater variety

    The game began with Murray breaking Wawinka before he immediately lost his own serve to level the score 1-1.

    At 0-40 down in the third game he fought back to take the game and from there went on to take the first set.

    After the initial few games, played with trepidation by both players, Murray, 20, looked to on top throughout the match, with greater variety of play to counter Wawinka's powerful base line game.

    Murray's good movement around the court told of his better agility and speed than his opponent.

    The crowd at the Khalifa Tennis Complex, marginally in favour of the third seed Murray, became increasingly animated as the unseeded Wawrinka fought back taking the game to his Scottish opponent.

    The Swiss player, ranked 36 in the world, upped his game, putting in some drop shots and slower paced balls, in the second set.

    The set went to serve until the final game when Murray struggled to reach his opponents shots around the court.

    But despite losing the second set Murray relaxed further into the match and seemed eager to keep play rolling and maintain pressure on Wawrinka.

    The third set was comfortable for Murray as his superior quality showed through, taking the penultimate game to love on Warwrinka's serve, before sealing the victory.

    Confidence boost

    Murray was happy with how the tournament went leading up to the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the year, which starts on January 14.

    "Most of the matches were comfortable, except for this one [the final], so I feel confident going in to the Australian Open," Murray said.

    As well as handing Murray a cheque for $171,000, the victory gives Murray 250 points towards his ATP rankings, something that he will benefit from at the Open in Melbourne.

    "It is good for the seedings. Now I won't be seeded to play them [the top seeds] until the quarters, which is obviously a big help.

    "It is the first time I've been in that position going into a grand slam. So I'm looking forward to it."

    It was the first time Murray had beaten Warwrinka in three meetings [AFP]

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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