Medvedev fends off wily Murray to win Qatar Open final
Daniil Medvedev defied Andy Murray in the Qatar Open final to clinch a second title in seven days as the resurgent Russian won the battle of former world number ones.
In-form Medvedev scored a 6-4 6-4 victory on Saturday as he followed up last Sunday's title in Rotterdam with another trophy success.
Three-time grand slam winner Murray, set to jump 18 places to 52nd in the new rankings, had saved eight match points en route to the Doha final.
He pushed Medvedev hard but could not get the better of a player who will nudge up one spot to seventh in the rankings on Monday.
Murray came back from 0-40 in the opening game to force deuce, but he could not hold serve, and Medvedev soon broke again to lead 4-1.
But back came Murray, and the Briton had a break point to square up the opener at 4-4, only for Medvedev to cling on.
The second set also began with Murray dropping serve, but the 35-year-old levelled up at 3-3 with a backhand winner at the end of a terrific rally.
That raised his hopes of a full-scale fightback and a third title success at this event, plus a first tournament victory since 2019 in Antwerp, but Murray was broken from 40-0 in the ninth game, and that looked to end his hopes.
Murray saved a ninth match point of the week, albeit thanks to a double fault from his opponent, but the Scot could not do so for a 10th time, with a lob from Medvedev giving him a big win and the 17th tour-level title of his career.
Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, told Amazon Prime Video in a courtside interview: "It was a very tough match. I'm happy to win, today was a big fight.
"Both of us sometimes were playing bad, then suddenly both of us were playing amazing, and I'm happy to win.
"It was tough for Andy to put the ball through me many times. Now it has to continue, so I'm going to try for as long as I can."