Murray beats nerves to storm into Qatar final

Andy Murray maintained his impressive start to 2008 by reaching the final of the Qatar Open in Doha for the second successive year. The 20-year-old Scot overpowered the world No 4 Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-3 to repeat his straight-sets win over the top-seeded Russian in last year's semi-finals.

His opponent in today's final will be Stanislas Wawrinka, the 22-year-old Swiss No 2 who was an unexpected 7-6, 6-4 winner over the defending champion, Ivan Ljubicic, of Croatia, in the first semi-final.

Murray, who has looked imperious at times this week, made an uncharacteristically nervous start, dropping his serve in the opening game, and allowed his opponent to dominate the early exchanges. But Davydenko's serving let him down in the sixth game and a double fault got the set back on level terms.

Murray consolidated the break with a first love service game to edge ahead for the first time and broke the tournament favourite a second time to wrap up the first set after 44 minutes.

The Scot then strengthened his grip on the match, forcing Davydenko into a series of errors. The confidence visibly ebbed from the Russian and he was broken again in the fourth game. The British No 1 squandered three match points in the eighth game but he served out for the victory in an hour and 23 minutes. The win guarantees Murray 15,000 but the Scot will be a firm favourite to go one better than last year by landing the 86,000 first prize, even though he has lost both previous contests with Wawrinka, the world No 36.

The Swiss player beat him in the Davis Cup in Geneva in 2005 and in his fifth ATP final, will be aiming to collect his second title.

The former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt suffered a blow to his Australian Open preparations when he was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the quarter-finals of the Adelaide International yesterday.

The top seed was overpowered 6-4, 6-2 by the Frenchman, who hammered 14 aces in his 80-minute victory. In Madras, another former world No 1, the twice former champion Carlos Moya, swept into his fifth semi-final at the Chennai Open with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the unseeded Frenchman Florent Serra. The winner in 2004 and 2005, Moya faces a probable meeting with his fellow Spaniard, Rafael Nadal. The world No 2 was due to play another Spaniard, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, later yesterday.

In Perth, the United States edged out an injury-hit Serbia in a deciding mixed doubles to win a dramatic Hopman Cup final.

The Americans led 1-0 after Jamie Murray's former doubles partner, Jelena Jankovic, forfeited her singles against Serena Williams because of a leg injury. The world No 3 Novak Djokovic shrugged off fatigue to pull Serbia level with a battling 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 victory over Mardy Fish. Jankovic returned for the mixed doubles but the US hit back from 4-1 down in the first set to win 7-6, 6-2 and take their fifth Hopman Cup title.

l Former world No 1 Martina Hingis, who retired in November after testing positive for cocaine, was banned for two years yesterday after an independent tribunal confirmed the offence. The 27-year-old Swiss will also forfeit the ranking points gained at last year's Wimbledon and $129,000 (65,000) in prize money.

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'