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Sports

Verdasco hails Murray's never say die attitude

media Fernando Verdasco has only beaten Andy Murray once in 13 meetings. Reuters/Ahmed Jadallah

Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco paid tribute to the tenacity of world number one Andy Murray on Saturday as he prepared to face the Briton in the final of the Dubai championships.

Verdasco said Murray enjoyed 700 lives after watching the 29-year-old save seven match points during a 31 minute second set tie breaker in his last eight match against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"Andy is number one in the world - what can I say?," said the world number 35 Verdasco.

“Andy was unbelievable against Kohlschreiber. But you know how Andy is. He hasn't got seven lives, he has 700 lives. That's why he's number one in the world.”

Verdasco advanced to Saturday’s final with a 7-6 5-7 6-1 win over Dutchman Robin Haase. "It was a really tough match, I needed to be there till the last point," he said of the match.

Murray recovered from the travails of his three hour epic with Kohlschreiber to defeat seventh-seeded Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-5 6-1 in his semi-final. "It wasn't the best match," Murray said. "There were a lot of mistakes. But there was some good stuff in there. Neither of us served well at the beginning.

"I think potentially the match against Philipp had something to do with that,” said Murray, who will be seeking his 45th career title on Saturday. “Sometimes if your legs are a little bit tired, the serve is one of the first things that goes.

"But as the match went on, I started serving a bit better and that helped me. The first set was very important to win after how the quarter-final went."

Verdasco won his last trophy 11 months ago on clay in Bucharest and was a Doha semi-finalist at the start of the season. "I'm really happy to be in the final and to be in a position to try and win this match,” he said.

However the omens aren’t propitious for the Spaniard. He has only won one of his 13 meetings against Murray on the senior circuit . That victory came at the Australian Open in 2009.

“I'll just will try to recover and to be as ready as possible for the final,” Verdasco added.

 

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