World number one Andy Murray secured his place in his sixth straight final with a dominant win over Tomas Berdych, 6-3,6-4, at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. Murray will face off against defending champion Novak Djokovic for the title.
Murray's serve was impenetrable in the opening set. He eased his way to a one set lead with one break of the Berdych serve. The second set wasn't as easy for the world number one, but he had a reply to everything that Berdych threw at him and sealed the win in two well fought sets.
Dominant opening set
Murray came out strong, holding serve easily to begin the match. Berdych had a much more difficult time on serve as the world number one pushed him to deuce with some excellent returning, but the Czech managed to hold on and bring the pair level.
Deep hitting from Murray seen him earn the first break point of the match and a great cross court volley sealed the 3-1 lead. An excellent serving display from the Brit easily consolidated the lead at 4-1. Berdych got back on track with a solid hold and powerful hitting allowing him to dictate play on serve.
The Czech was unable to trouble Murray on serve, consistent depth from the Brit drawing errors from Berdych as he took a 5-2 lead. Murray battled to try and close out the set on the return, but Berdych saved two set points, forcing the Brit to serve out the opener. Murray came through another solid hold to take a one set lead, marking the fifteenth consecutive set that the Brit has taken from Berdych.
Battling to the finish
Berdych took a medical timeout before beginning the second set to treat a right foot problem before coming back out to serve and having a much needed easy hold to get back on track. The Czech earned himself a couple of break points in the following game, but Murray closed down the net to quickly erase them. Great serving and aggressive groundstrokes got the world number one out of the tough game with a crucial hold. The Brit then took a lead on return with a passing shot winner giving him the advantage. Berdych then pulled them back level with a perfect drop shot. The drop shot then worked against Berdych, as Murray made a great chase down and easily put away a passing shot to bring up two break points. An unforced error from Berdych handed Murray the break and a 2-1 lead.
A terrible drop shot attempt from Murray brought up a break back point straight away for Berdych, and an aggressive return allowed him to take control of the point and bring the pair back level. Murray responded well to the disappointment and bounced back on the return, with aggressive returns and the gift of a double fault from Berdych bringing up another two break points.A backhand from the racket of the Czech flew wide to give Murray the advantage again at 3-2.
Outstanding defending from Murray finished off with a crosscourt forehand passing shot on the run got him off to a great start on serve. Berdych pushed Murray with some impressive returns but the Brit stayed solid, battling through the tough game to extend his lead to 4-2.
Berdych held on to his serve easily to stay in touch, but Murray came through another tight game to edge ahead again. Danger arrived for Berdych as he was serving to stay in the match, with Murray battling from 40-0 to 40-30, but the Czech managed to hold on and force the Brit to serve out the match. Berdych saved two match points and pushed the world number one to deuce, but Murray recovered with some excellent serving taking him through the hold and his twenty-eighth consecutive victory.