PIX: Murray’s incredible comeback!
IMAGE: Andy Murray celebrates winning a point during his semi-final against Jiri Lehecka of Czech Republic at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha, on Friday. Photographs: Mohamed Farag/Getty Images
Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said the ‘Law of Averages’ had finally swung in his favour after he saved five match points to defeat Jiri Lehecka at the Qatar Open on Friday and reach a first ATP Tour final since June last year.
Wild card Murray beat his Czech opponent 6-0, 3-6, 7-6(6), fighting back from 5-3 down in the decider. He will face third seed Daniil Medvedev in the final after the Russian beat Canada’s second-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-6(7).
The 35-year-old Briton has shown great resilience during his run to the showpiece match in Doha and his latest victory was his fourth three-set win in four games, which included comeback wins over Lorenzo Sonego and Alexandre Muller.
Asked how he managed to close out the narrow victories, Murray pointed to learning from defeats last season, telling reporters: “One of the great things about the scoring system in this sport is things can change very quickly.
“I had multiple conversations with my team in the middle to the end part of last year, and I lost lots of close matches.
“I said, ‘As soon as I start winning some, then that’s going to change quickly because of the law of averages, really, like I couldn’t keep losing that many matches’.
“If I kept working hard and kept improving just a little bit, then those matches would change. So I’m glad that I was right with that, and I hope it continues.”
The former world number one added that navigating a way out of so many tricky situations in a short timespan had bolstered his self-belief.
“There is a certain calmness to those situations, because you have been in them a lot in a short period of time. You know how you need to try and play and it becomes a little bit of a habit,” Murray said.
“Maybe it’s a little bit in the back of the opponent’s mind, as well. There have been periods where someone like Novak (Djokovic) has come back from very difficult situations, and it has appeared that players think about it a little when they are getting close to the finish line.
“That’s something that I’m feeling a bit just now, and obviously I will try to keep that going.”