Qatar Open: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic enters semifinals

Novak Djokovic

World No.1 Andy Murray defeated Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the Qatar Open quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Almagro gave an intense fight before bowing down to Sir Murray who worked overtime to book the semifinal berth.

The Spaniard surrendered after 2 hours, 9 minutes when he gave away a backhand crosscourt wide on a second match point for Murray in the final set.

Murray trailed 3-1 in the first set and wasted a 2-1 advantage with a service break in the second game.

The advantage for Murray happened on the second serve points won percentage in which he was at 61 and Almagro was lagging at only 47.

Soon after the match, Murray said that “It was a very tough game. Nico was playing very aggressive and going for his shots, and it was hard conditions tonight, very windy, so tough to get into much of a rhythm”.

Moreover, Murray reached the quarterfinals in a similar fashion 7-6 (6), 7-5 result over Gerald Melzer on Wednesday.

Previously, Murray has won Qatar Open winner two times and is on a 27-match winning crusade.

In the semifinals, he will battle against third-seeded Tomas Berdych, who knocked out fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-3.

Will it be a Djokovic, Murray showdown?

Earlier, defending champion Novak Djokovic advanced to the semis after squeezing Czech contender Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-3.

Djokovic said after the match that “It’s a soft term saying windy for what it’s been today. It’s quite challenging I must say, mentally mostly, to be able to go through this kind of conditions without losing the focus and the determination to the court.

“There is not much you can do about it. The force of nature is like this. One has to accept and try to embrace it, really be one with the wind. Otherwise, it’s not going to be a good day for you for sure “.

The Serb held a 13-1 career record over the 38-year-old Stepanek and had won their last 12 encounters.

Djokovic had taken a 4-2 lead in the first set before Stepanek broke Djokovic’s serve when he smashed a backhand on a third break point.

Djokovic won the next two games, bagging the set on an overhead shot to an open court.

In the second set, Djokovic achieved a 3-1 lead and kept going.

Djokovic will battle it out against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals today.


Emma is a Sports writer and loves talking and learning about new Sports. She studied journalism at The City College of New York. She loves watching American Sports as well as watching her children play. When she gets some free time she likes to read books by "Jacqueline Wilson".