In Brief

Dubai Championships: Andy Murray saves seven match points

World number one produces the 'best shot of his career' in epic contest against Philipp Kohlschreiber

Andy Murray saved seven match points and negotiated a 38-point tie-break lasting more than half an hour to overcome Philipp Kohlschreiber in an extraordinary quarter-final at the Dubai Duty Free Championships.

The world number one lost the opening set in an 11-point tie-break, but then triumphed 20-18 in the second, which went on for an incredible 31 minutes, before demolishing the world number 29 6-1 in the third set, ending a contest that lasted almost three hours. 

"So dramatic was the second-set tie-break... that the umpire forgot to tell the players to change ends," says Stuart Fraser of The Times. "When Murray does eventually bring his career to an end, surely this remarkable 31-minute decider will go down as his most memorable."

Commentator Mark Petchey said the incredible drop shot with which the Scot saved the first of seven match points was "arguably the best shot of Murray’s career".

It was the longest tie-break since 2007, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Andy Roddick by the same score at the 2007 Australian Open. Remarkably, it is the sixth tie-break to be won 20-18 since 1991, although none have lasted longer.

If the final set was something of a procession, the first two were notable for the quality of both players.

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"On paper, Kohlschreiber had not promised to put up such strong resistance," says Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph. "But he played with great ambition and self-belief for the first two sets

"There were highlights wherever you looked, but the highest of all must have been the sharply angled, side-spinning drop-shot that Murray conjured on Kohlschreiber’s first match point, at 8-9 down," he adds.

The German said it had been "the best match of my life".

Murray agreed the match had been something out of the ordinary. "I've never played a tie-break like that ever, not in juniors, nothing has been close to that," he said. "I'll probably never play another one like that again.

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

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