Andy Murray gained some revenge for his Australian Open defeat to Novak Djokovic by beating the world number one in straight sets in the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Djokovic prevailed in an epic five-set match at the start of the year before going on to lift the title in Melbourne.
But the world number four turned the tables today with a 6-2 7-5 triumph in just one hour and 22 minutes, ending Djokovic's challenge for a fourth successive title in Dubai.
The first five games went with serve, but Murray gained an advantage in the sixth when, facing the first break point of the match, Djokovic put a forehand long to gift his opponent a 4-2 lead.
Murray then held off two break points in the next game before breaking again in the eighth, with a backhand winner ending a long rally to take the opening set in 30 minutes.
Djokovic continued to wobble at the start of the second set, and quickly found himself another break behind in game two after hitting a wild forehand long.
Murray held serve in the next to take a 3-0 lead, but his Serbian opponent finally stopped the rot in game four by serving to love.
Djokovic appeared to be growing in confidence again but Murray managed to keep his nose in front and open up a 5-2 advantage.
That left Djokovic serving to stay in the match, a feat he achieved, and the top seed built on that success in game nine when a forehand into the net from Murray allowed the Serbian to break back.
But his joy was short-lived as Murray found himself with two match points in the 12th and sealed a place in the final thanks to a weak shot into the net from Djokovic.
Although Murray was delighted with the result, he felt there was room for improvement ahead of tomorrow's final where he will face Roger Federer.
"The first set I served very well and was aggressive when I had my chances," he said on http://www.atpworldtour.com.
"In the second set he started going for more and making mistakes because of that, because it's tough to always grind out matches. I think that was the difference.
"It wasn't an amazing standard. I still think I could've played better as well. I'm sure Novak feels the same.
"So that's actually a good sign for me that maybe not playing my best tennis I could still win against him."
Djokovic, meanwhile, was gracious in defeat.
"Andy played a great match," said the Serb. "He was the better player today.
"He was serving really well. I made a lot of unforced errors when it was important."Reuse content