World number one Sir Andy Murray had to save seven match points in an epic tie-breaker to seal his place in the Dubai Tennis Championship semi-finals today.
The double Olympic men’s singles champion from Great Britain was taken to the edge of defeat in the second set by Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber at the ATP 500 event before eventually winning it 20-18 in the tie-break.
Kohlschreiber had already won the quarter-final’s first set 7-6, with the tie-break finishing at 7-4.
He had seven opportunities to send Murray crashing out, but the three-time Grand Slam winner held his nerve each time before finally claiming the set.
This gave the 29-year-old momentum going into the deciding set, which he claimed 6-1.
With 38 points in total, it was the longest tie-break in any tour match since 1991.
“I have never played a tiebreak that long ever,” Murray said afterwards.
“Not in juniors, nothing even close to that, I don’t think.
“They can be very important matches to get through, ones like that.
“I could have obviously easily lost tonight, but, you know, the way that I played when I was behind will give me a lot of confidence.”
Murray’s reward for reaching the semi-finals is a clash with Frenchman Lucas Pouille after he beat Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy, who knocked out Roger Federer yesterday, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6.
The other last four clash will be between Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and The Netherland’s Robin Haase.
Verdasco saw off France’s Gael Mofils 6-3, 7-5 while Haase defeated Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.
The final of the tournament will be played on Saturday (March 4).
By George Thorpe
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.