The grueling battle at the cathedral-like Agora arena, at three
hours and 20 minutes the longest final of the year on the ATP World
Tour, was a repeat of last month's Shenzhen Open showpiece, when
Murray fought off five match points against the Spaniard on the way
to a 5-7 7-6 (9) 6-1 success.
A wildcard at the Valencia indoor hardcourt event, which he won in
2009, third seed Murray produced an erratic display against unseeded
Robredo but had just enough in the tank to claim a 31st career
After thumping a backhand winner to seal victory, the Scot, who
squandered a match point earlier in the third set, collapsed to the
floor and barely had enough strength to get to the net to greet his
equally exhausted opponent.
The win earned Murray, playing his 20th match in five weeks having
also won in Vienna this month, a further 200 points and lifted him
to fifth in the race to secure a spot at the season-ending eight-man
Tour finals in London.
Along with Kei Nishikori, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic
and Grigor Dimitrov, he will be looking to secure one of the four
remaining berths at this week's Paris Masters.
"I played well at the right moments," Murray told reporters.
"I know it was an incredible match," added the 27-year-old. "The
tennis at the end and in the second set was high level."
After an intense first set with Robredo in the ascendancy, Murray
upped his game in the second before failing to convert three break
points on the Robredo serve that would have given him a 5-2 lead.
[to top of second column]
The Scot then played a woeful game to hand a break back and home
favorite Robredo had two match points in the tiebreak that would
have given him a 13th career title.
However, Murray dug deep to take the match to a third set and after
missing his chance to seal victory with Robredo serving at 4-5
managed to come through the deciding tiebreak by fending off a
further three match points.
"It was an amazing match, and you have to enjoy it," Robredo said.
"Unfortunately someone has to win and it was decided by a few
balls," added the 32-year-old.
"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
(Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Mark Meadows)
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