Qatar Open: Djokovic saves five match points to set up Murray clash

Novak Djokovic won a thrilling match 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 to progress to his second successive final in Doha but was earlier on the brink of a straight sets defeat as he trailed in the second set tie-break against Fernando Verdasco.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC

"I haven't saved five match points many times," said Novak Djokovic after a thrilling win.   -  AFP

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic on Friday won through to the Qatar Open final, setting up a hugely-anticipated early season clash between the two best players in the world.

Djokovic won a thrilling match 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 to progress to his second successive final in Doha but was earlier on the brink of a straight sets defeat as he trailed in the second set tie-break.

But through a combination of typical Djokovic grit and Verdasco errors he saved four match points at 6-2 down in the tiebreak and another when 7-6 behind.

"It's definitely one of the most exciting matches I have played," Djokovic said after coming back from five match points down for just the third time in his career.

"I haven't saved five match points many times. He (Verdasco) should have finished it off."

Murray swept aside Tomas Berdych in far more straightforward fashion 6-3, 6-3 to secure a 28th consecutive victory, a record which stretches back to September last year.

Murray, who had struggled with the windy conditions and opponents in previous rounds, won far more easily.

He broke Berdych early in each set and won in almost an hour's less playing time than the Serb.

He said the final would be "a great match to look forward to".

Djokovic's progress to the semifinals had been serene and Friday's match was the first time the Serb had even dropped a set in Doha in almost two years.

Despite losing his opening service game, the World No. 2 broke back in the eighth game.

But he was then immediately broken back by Verdasco, who not only served out for the set but then broke Djokovic's opening service game in the second.

Only after closing the tense second set tie-breaker, did Djokovic's victory seem likely. His win keeps alive hopes of final clash between the top two players in the world.