Andy Murray saved five match points to pull off another thrilling three-set victory in Doha.
Murray rallied to beat Jiri Lehecka 6-0, 3-6, 7-6(6) on Friday evening to reach his first ATP Tour final since last June.
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“I don’t know [how I won],” said a disbelieving Murray after the match. “That was one of the most amazing turnarounds I’ve had in my career.”
A MURRAY MIRACLE!!
The moment @andy_murray defeated Lehecka after saving FIVE match points to make the Doha final 🤯 pic.twitter.com/crR0El9HMH
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 24, 2023
In an engaging clash of generations and gamestyles, the determined defence and consistent baseline hitting of Murray prevailed in dramatic fashion against the greater power of 21-year-old Lehecka.
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The Briton recovered a 3-5 deficit in the final set, a comeback which included breaking Lehecka when trailing 4-5, 40/0 on the Czech’s serve.
“I knew it was his first time serving for a final, so I knew I had to try and keep the pressure on at the end,” Murray added.
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“I know how difficult it is to serve matches like that out, but I’ve no idea how I managed to turn that one round to be honest.”
Two-time Doha champion Murray converted his second match point to complete a two-hour, 29-minute victory.
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He struck just 17 winners to Lehecka’s 44, but also converted five of his nine break points.
489 – Andy Murray has equalled Jimmy Connors as the fifth player with the most ATP hard courts wins in the Open Era (489). History.@atptour @ATPMediaInfo pic.twitter.com/iPBkpbEBGY
— OptaAce (@OptaAce) February 24, 2023
It was the Briton’s fourth three-set win in as many matches this week in Qatar, where he has also gone the distance in victories against Lorenzo Sonego, Alexander Zverev and Alexandre Muller.
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The victory improved Murray’s record for 2023 to 6-2, with all six of his wins coming in deciding sets.
He will take on Daniil Medvedev in Saturday’s championship match, after the third seed later defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(7).