Murray defeats top-seeded Davydenko, will face Wawrinka in final

Updated: January 4, 2008, 2:14 PM ET
Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar -- Andy Murray defeated top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-3 Friday to reach his second straight Qatar Open final.

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Murray will play Stanislas Wawrinka, who upset defending champion Ivan Ljubicic 7-6 (1), 6-4 earlier Friday to reach his fifth career ATP final.

Murray dropped serve in the opening game of the first set, but broke back in the sixth game to level it at 3-3.

Davydenko, serving to stay in the set at 4-5 and deuce, hit back-to-back forehands long to give the set to Murray.

In the second set, Murray broke Davydenko in the fourth game. The Russian saved three match points to take the eighth game and trail 5-3. But Murray clinched the next game when Davydenko hit a backhand long.

"He started off well ... I hung in pretty well and turned it around," Murray said. "I did not serve well in the first set, but was better in the second."

Murray improved to 3-2 overall against Davydenko.

"I made too many mistakes playing from the baseline when I was up 3-1 in the first set," Davydenko said. "Murray served well. Compared to the last time here, his game was the same, but I committed too many errors."

Murray is looking forward to playing Wawrinka on Saturday.

"I have lost twice to him, but hopefully my experience playing a final will work for me," Murray said. "It would be nice to start the year with a win."

In the first semifinal, there were no breaks in the opening set with Wawrinka's serve making the difference in the tiebreaker against the fourth-seeded Ljubicic.

There were no breaks in the second set until Ljubicic dropped serve in the 10th game to allow the Swiss player to advance.

"Except for the loss, I am happy with the way I have started the season," Ljubicic said. "Wawrinka was serving unbelievably well today. It was not easy."

Wawrinka improved to 1-3 against Ljubicic.

"It is always tough to beat a big serving player like Ivan. I am happy to have won against him for the first time," Wawrinka said.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press