Verdasco victory for Murray

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The Independent Online

Defending champion Andy Murray breezed into the final of the St Petersburg Open today with a 6-0 6-3 victory over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

The semi-final clash was a repeat of last year's final, in which the Scot was victorious, and came less than a week after Murray won the Madrid Masters.

He will face Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, ranked 150th in the world, in the final after he beat Romanian Victor Hanescu in their last-four encounter.

After a testing quarter-final against Serbian Janko Tipsarevic Murray showed no signs of fatigue as he easily took the first set 6-0.

Having held serve in the first game of the second set Murray broke world number 16 Verdasco to immediately seize the advantage.

He saved a break point and was set to cruise into a 3-0 lead only for Verdasco to dig deep to break him and win his first game before holding to level at 2-2.

The set continued with serve until the eighth game.

Unforced errors and double faults were undermining Verdasco's fightback and a careless shot on break point allowed Murray to take a 5-3 lead.

And after two match points the Scot wrapped up victory in one hour and 14 minutes, setting up a meeting with little-known Golubev in the final.

Murray is bidding to win his fifth title of the year, having also reached the US Open final and having secured his place in the end-of-year Masters Cup.