Dubai Tennis Championship: Murray defeats Kohlschreiber

The second set looked to be going Murray's way after an early break but, when serving to level the match, the Scot faltered and the subsequent tie-break would enter stunning depths. They played great tactically, hit more than winners than errors and Murray saved seven match points in total, one of them with a fantastic dropshot.

The top seed managed to avoid joining second seed Stan Wawrinka and seven-time victor Roger Federer on the sidelines after the Swiss pair crashed out in earlier rounds.

In the bottom half of the draw, fourth seed Gael Monfils fired 10 aces but still crashed out 6-3, 7-5 to Fernando Verdasco.

"I think I played nearly a flawless match today".

"I mean, I have been playing on the tour for 11, 12 years now, and nothing's been close to that".

"It's a special match to win because of how it went".

But Murray showed the resilience that carried him to the top of the tennis rankings last November as he inflicted a heartbreaking loss on Kohlschreiber.

"So I tried for a big percentage on the first serve and tried to play with my forehand nearly as much as possible".

Federer netted a forehand on Donskoy's one set point in that second set tiebreaker to extend the match to a third set. "I tried to keep doing the things I did before the rain delay", he said.

Verdasco next plays Robin Haase, who defeated Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. "But I'm very happy to be here, and I will try my best to win one more match and try to be in the finals".

  • Julie Sanders