Tired Murray shows perfect timing to stun Robredo with Valencia comeback

Andy Murray was in no mood to downplay his Valencia Open title triumph after he fended off five match points to beat Tommy Robredo.

Andy Murray on his way to victory in the final of the Valencia Open against Tommy Robredo. Picture: AP/Alberto Saiz.

In a match which swung first one way and then the other, the Scot eventually won 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 7-6 (10/8) claiming the final set on a tie-break against his Spanish opponent.

The victory is a massive step for Murray in qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals as he moved up to fifth in the Race to London standings with ninth place enough to qualify.

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“I know it was an incredible match,” said Murray.

“The tennis at the end and in the second set was high level.

“I played well at the right moments.

“I don’t know how I managed to come through it – I was very tired, Tommy was very tired as well.

“When you have to work hard for something it means more, you get more satisfaction from it.

“I kept fighting and it stands me in good stead for the end of this year and the beginning of next.”

Robredo must be sick of the sight of Murray after his British opponent had also saved five match points against him when he won the Shenzhen Open title in southern China last month.

This match was equally exhausting, lasting three hours and 20 minutes – the longest final on the ATP world tour this year –and at the end Robredo appeared to make a jokey obscene gesture at his opponent.

“It was an amazing match, and you have to enjoy it,” said Robredo.

“Unfortunately someone has to win and it was decided by a few balls. It is what it is.

“Now I will be a bit out for a couple of hours but I guess that when I finish the season next week, and I watch today’s match against one of the best players we have right now, I will be very happy.”

It was the 31st title of Murray’s career and was further demonstration that he is back on track – Shenzhen was his first title victory in 14 months.

Murray – who had made it through to the final following a 6-4 7-5 win over David Ferrer in saturday’s semi-final – appeared nervous in the first set which his Spanish opponent won comfortably 6-3. It was much tighter in the second set but in the tie-break Robredo had two points to win the title but Murray produced some battling heroics to hold on and then take the set himself, winning the tie-break 9-7.

It looked equally dicey for Murray when Robredo broke serve to take a 4-3 lead in the final set but the Scot drew on reserves of energy once again to break back immediately to level a thrilling match.

It was Robredo’s turn then to rescue a match point against him and take the final set to a tie-break, with both players looking to be on their last legs.

The 32-year-old Spaniard saw three more match points come and go before he netted to give Murray the chance of victory and he made no mistake with a backhand winner after a fierce final rally.

Roger Federer’s charge towards the world No 1 slot continued with the 33-year-old winning the Swiss Indoors final in Basle at a stroll.

Federer beat Belgium’s David Goffin 6-2 6-2 in a match lasting less than 52 minutes to win his home-town tournament for a sixth time.

Federer has now won his last 12 matches on the bounce and has current world No 1 Novak Djokovic in his sights.

The Swiss is fewer than 500 points behind the Serbian and the champion of next week’s BNP Paribas Masters will claim 1,000 points – and a big step towards deciding which player will end the year at the top.

Federer was barely tested by his 23-year-old opponent in the St Jakobshalle, and he broke Goffin twice in each set to win at a canter.

Federer said he now had the 
No 1 spot in his sights.

He said: “It would be very special to reclaim No 1 – world No 1 is what it’s all about in our game.

“With the year I have had and the amount of finals I have played, the level of tennis I have played, I am pleased to see that I have a shot.

“But having a shot and being there are two separate things. I am sure that Novak is going to come in very motivated, just after having a baby. There are clearly interesting weeks ahead.”