Two former world No. 1 players – Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev collide in the finals of the 2023 Qatar Open on Saturday.
The British legend has made it to the finals in Doha for the 5th time in his career. This will be Murray’s first final appearance since the Stuttgart Open last year in June. Murray played in the Adelaide International 1 to begin the season. However, his campaign ended abruptly as he crashed out in the first round following a loss to Sebastian Korda.
In the Australian Open, the 35-year-old defeated 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in the first round and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round before going down to Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. The two wins were five-set thrillers where Murray showed great tenacity.
In the Qatar Open, Murray started strongly with a come-from-behind win against Lorenzo Sonego. The Italian star won the first set but Murray managed to turn things around and eventually triumph 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). The experienced campaigner saved 3 match points in this clash. Murray went on to beat 4th seed Alexander Zverev in the second round. The match ended 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 7-5 in favor of the 3-time Grand Slam champion. In the quarterfinals, Murray smashed 9 aces and returned from a set down to defeat Alexandre Muller 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Murray faced the talented Jiri Lehecka in the semis. The former bageled the youngster in the first set but the second set was a completely different story. Lehecka managed to take the match into the third set. Murray saved 5 match points in the final set to win 6-0, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6).
The 27-year-old has reached back-to-back finals and will be eyeing his 17th ATP title on Saturday. Medvedev had a decent start to the season as he made it to the semifinals of the Adelaide International 1, where he was ousted by eventual champion Novak Djokovic. In the Australian Open, Medvedev couldn’t go deep into the tournament as was expected of him. He lost to Sebastian Korda in the third round.
The 2021 US Open champion produced a fine display in the ATP Rotterdam Open as he went on to win the title. He defeated the likes of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Botic van de Zandschulp, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Grigor Dimitrov, and Jannik Sinner to win the title. Medvedev lost just one set throughout the tournament and that was in the final against Sinner.
In the Qatar Open, the third-seeded Medvedev received a bye into the second round. He made light work of Liam Broady in the second round, winning 6-4, 6-3. Medvedev converted 4 out of 6 break points in the encounter. In the quarterfinals, Medvedev managed to get the better of Christopher O’Connell in an intriguing match. The Russian athlete won 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. He had a win percentage of 78 on the first serve. Medvedev faced 2nd seed, Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semis. Medvedev had to dig deep against the Canadian athlete who gave a good account of himself. In the end, Medvedev won 6-4, 7-6 (9-7). He had a win percentage of 81 on the first serve, his best in the tournament thus far. He also saved 3 set points in the second set.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
Daniil Medvedev has an unblemished 2-0 head-to-head record against Andy Murray. The Russian star defeated Murray in their most recent meeting in the 2022 Miami Open in straight sets 6-4, 6-2.
Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win in three competitive sets.
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