Alexa

Murray faces Golubev in St. Petersburg Open final

Murray faces Golubev in St. Petersburg Open final

Defending champion Andy Murray beat Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-3 Saturday to advance to the St. Petersburg Open final.
On Sunday, the top-seeded Murray will play qualifier Andrey Golubev, who reached his first career ATP final by beating Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-0.
Murray, who won the Madrid Masters last Sunday for his fourth title this season, exploited Verdasco's poor serve and won eight straight games to go a set and 2-0 up.
The third-seeded Spaniard, who lost to Murray in last year's final, broke back for 2-2 and tried to stay in the match until the Briton broke decisively in the eighth game and served for the match.
"I was still playing pretty good but he played like he had nothing to lose after two games in the second set," Murray said. "He started to play better, but he was never ahead in the match. I felt pretty comfortable most of the match, but it was definitely a harder second set."
Verdasko double-faulted four times in the first set and three in the second.
"He played so good and was making no mistakes in the first set," Verdasco said. "I didn't serve good, that's for sure."
It was the 11th consecutive win for the fourth-ranked Murray, including two victories in Britain's Davis Cup World Group playoffs against Austria in September. His win-loss record this season is 52-14, making him the fourth player this year to win more than 50 matches.
Murray also won titles in Doha, Marseille and Cincinnati. His only loss in a final this season was to Roger Federer at the U.S. Open.
The 150th-ranked Golubev dominated his Romanian opponent throughout and never faced a break point. At 3-3 in the first set, the 21-year-old qualifier from Kazakhstan won 10 consecutive games to close out the match in 54 minutes.
Golubev is enjoying his career-best week and upset eighth-seeded Marat Safin in straight sets in the second round on Thursday to reach his first ATP quarterfinal.
"I started the match on a high tempo and pressed him (Hanescu) all the time," Golubev said. "I was on the rise after beating Safin and was sure of my victory today midway through the first set."