Murray 6-5 for Dubai glory after Djokovic win
ANDY MURRAY inflicted a first defeat of the year on Novak
Djokovic on Friday and is 6-5 to beat Roger Federer in Saturday's final of the Dubai Championship.
Murray was cut from 7-1 to 13-2 to win Wimbledon after his
6-2 7-5 victory over Djokovic avenged his five-set defeat to the world No. 1 Serb in January's Australian Open semi-final.
Understandably, Murray was delighted with his victory over Djokovic, who was chasing a fourth successive title in the Emirates state.
The world No. 4 said: “I’ve had a lot of tough losses in my career. To come back from them hasn’t always been that easy. I think it’s big for me that after Australia this year I’ve come back and had a win like this.
“Hopefully that will set me up well for the year. Confidence in tennis is so important. A win like tonight will do that no harm – therefore, mentally I’m sure I’ll be stronger.
“It wasn’t an amazing standard – I think I could have played better as well. So that’s actually a good sign for me that maybe not playing my best tennis I could still win against him.”
Djokovic, who beat Rafa Nadal iin the final of the Australian Open, was looking to extend his winning streak to 19 matches.
He said: “Andy played a great match – he was the better player. He was serving well. I made a lot of unforced errors when it was important.”
Federer, an 8-11 favourite for the final, staved off the threat of Juan Martindel Potro, whom he had beaten in the Rotterdam final last month, when edging the Argentinian 7-6 7-6.
However, he trails Murray 8-6 in head-to-head battles on hard courts.
Nadal is a 5-4 favourite for the next Grand Slam event, the French Open starting on May 27, with Djokovic at 13-8.
Federer and Murray are 12-1 and 16-1 respectively with David Ferrer next in the lists at 33-1.
Read Saturday's Racing Post for Adrian Humphries's Dubai final betting advice and prices