It was Andy Murray’s first semi-final appearance since June.
After yet another comeback victory in Doha, Andy Murray secured a position in his first semi-final since June. In two hours and four minutes, the world No. 70 defeated qualifier Alexandre Muller 4-6 6-1 6-2 to go to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semifinals, where he will take on Jiri Lehecka.
Murray was coming off the back of a three-hour marathon win over Alexander Zverev less than 24 hours prior as he faced the somewhat unknown prospect of Muller, a qualifier ranked at No 170. The Frenchman had already upset eighth seed Botic van de Zandschulp and former champion Nikoloz Bashilashvili and was facing Murray for the first time.
It was the two-time former champion in Doha who got off to a quick start, taking an immediate 2-0 lead as he secured the early break. But in what has become true Murray fashion, it couldn’t be that easy for the Brit as he gave the break straight back and was suddenly the one down a break himself as Muller won four games in a row to race to a 4-2 lead.
The world No 70 had two chances to get back in it at 3-4 but failed to convert his break points and it ended up costing him, as the 26-year-old was able to take the first set 6-4 in 53 minutes in his maiden tour-level quarter-final. Murray was quick to bounce back at the start of the second as he broke to lead 2-0, mirroring the opener.
The Brit kept on rolling, breaking the qualifier once again as he raced to a 5-0 lead in 23 minutes and he took the second set 6-1 moments later, forcing a decider for the third-successive match. Murray had the chance to take another early break in the first game of the third set but Muller was able to hold on and get himself on the board to start the decider.