Roger unfortunately was not able to stop Andy Murray, losing the semifinal of the Qatar Open 7-6 (6), 2-6, 2-6. Murray's career record against Roger now is 5-2 in tour matches.

"It is disappointing to lose after the first set when things were going my way," Roger said. "I just couldn't give the knockout punch. But it is not a big thing. Andy is a tough player against me. I hope when big matches come, I beat him."

Our champ committed four double faults and had 37 unforced errors, the same number as his winners. In the first set, Roger raced to a 4-1 lead as he dominated Murray from the baseline with his backhand. The Scot then took advantage of a few unforced errors to pull even at 5-5. Roger, the 2005 and 2006 winner in Qatar, fought back to fend off a set point, and served out the set with an ace and a forehand winner, clenching his fist.

Roger's level of play dropped in the second set, as he made seven unforced errors against Murray’s three. A double service break handed the Scot the second set 6-2, as he took advantage of two double faults in one service game. In the final set, Murray was leading 2-1 when he stopped to get treatment on his lower back from the tournament trainer after showing pain after hitting a serve. Roger, who is one major short of tying Pete Sampras’s record 14 Grand Slam victories, had his serve broken in the next game as the Scot consistently attacked his backhand; then going on to win the match.

Next up is the AAMI Classic in Kooyong, the last preparation for the Australian Open starting on January 19th.


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