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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
i100
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin