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Monday, Sep 16th

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Djokovic saves 5 match points to earn Qatar Final date with Murray

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The top two players in the world - Sir Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic - booked their preordained spots in the final of the Qatar Open after registering highly contrasting wins in the semi-finals.

Murray, the reigning world no.1, eased into the final with a routine 6-3, 6-4 win over veteran Czech Tomas Berdych, who appeared to be struggling with an ankle injury and required treatment during the course of the match.

In sharp contrast, Novak Djokovic battled back from a set down to beat Spain's Fernando Verdasco, who had as many as 5 opportunities to close out the match.

After nicking the second set 9-7 in a tiebreak, Djokovic found his range in the decider, making just the solitary unforced error en route to clinching the match, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-3.

Predictably Murray was more bullish of his chances in the final, saying, "I want to try and keep it going - I feel a little bit like this year's a fresh start. It's been the perfect week to get ready for the Australian Open."

He will head into Saturday's finale on the back of 28 straight wins on the ATP Tour, though he did drop a match last week in an exhibition warm-up event in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Djokovic, the world no.2 was just thankful of making it to the final, saying, "It's definitely one of the most exciting matches I have played. I haven't saved five match points many times. He should have finished it off."

Djokovic has won 10 of his 18 finals against Murray, but the Scotsman came out ahead the last time the two men met, at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November. That victory vaulted Murray into the No.1 spot in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings.