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Andy Murray survives scare to reach Qatar Open semi-finals

Andy Murray survives scare to reach Qatar Open semi-finals
© Reuters
Andy Murray reaches his first ATP Tour semi-final for eight months with a 4-6 6-1 6-2 win over French qualifier Alexandre Muller at the Qatar Open.

Andy Murray recovered from a first-set blip to defeat world number 170 Alexandre Muller and advance to the semi-finals of the Qatar Open.

The former world number one, who faced two gruelling three-setters with Lorenzo Sonego and Alexander Zverev earlier this week, cut a tired figure as he lost the first set.

However, as fans have witnessed throughout the start of the 2023 season, Murray's fighting spirit came to the fore as he beat the French qualifier 4-6 6-1 6-2 in just over two hours.

Clearly feeling the effects of Wednesday's exertions against Zverev, Murray broke Muller's serve in the second game of the match before the Frenchman won the next four games on the bounce.

Muller - who was evidently the much fresher player - saved two break points in the eighth game before holding for the first set, but Murray roared back with vigour in the second.

Losing five games on the spin, Muller at least managed to avoid a bagel before Murray comfortably levelled matters and forced another three-set affair, and the Frenchman's purple patch was well and truly over by this point.

Murray missed two chances to break in the opening game of the third set, but once again, he embarked on a five-game winning streak as Muller's unforced errors ruled out any hopes of an improbable comeback.

The Frenchman would at least force Murray to serve the quarter-final out, and the 35-year-old did so with a love hold to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final since the Stuttgart Open in June.

Jiri Lehecka - who memorably beat Cameron Norrie in the third round of the Australian Open - is next up for Murray after the Czech Republic rising star downed top seed Andrey Rublev in three sets.

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Andy Murray pictured at the Australian Open on January 19, 2023
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