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Red-hot World No. 4 and third-seeded Andy Murray (pictured) successfully defended his Qatar ExxonMobil Open title by defeating fourth-seeded American Andy Roddick, 6-4, 6-2, on Saturday in Doha. Murray now owns two titles in three appearances in Doha, having lost in the finals to Ivan Ljubicic in his tournament debut in 2007.
In the opening set, Murray jumped out to an early lead by breaking Roddick’s serve to go ahead 3-2, eventually claiming the first set, 6-4. The second set went very smoothly for the 21-year-old Scotland native, as he broke serve in the third and fifth games of the set, to claim the match and second set, 6-2, in a match that lasted 70 minutes. Both players hit 70 percent on first serves, as Murray won 80 percent of those points compared to only 66 percent by Roddick. Murray saved the only break point he faced by hitting an ace. In the 50 service games he played this week, Murray was only broken three times.
By claiming his second straight Doha title, Murray has now successfully defended three tournament titles, having accomplished it in San Jose in 2005-2006 and in St. Petersburg in 2007-2008. Murray is now the owner of nine ATP singles titles, having won five titles in 2008 including two Masters Series events.
“The semi-final and final matches were very good against two top players so I am very pleased,” said Murray. “It is great to start the season with a title. I have defended my title in three different tournaments now so I like to go back to the same places. I've always felt very comfortable in Doha.”
To go with the champion’s trophy, Murray earned $183,000 in prize money, while Roddick collected a runner-up check for $96,250.