Andy Murray pulled off yet another incredible comeback from the verge of defeat by fending off Jiri Lehecka and saved five match points to get to the Qatar Open final.
In yet another unpredictable encounter in Doha, the 35-year-old Scot defeated the gifted young Czech player 6-0 3-6 7-6 (8-6).
Prior to overcoming Lehecka’s serve to square the match, Murray fended off two match points on his own serve and three more while Lehecka was serving.
The final on Saturday will pit him against either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Daniil Medvedev.
In his seventh Doha final and first overall since June 2022, Murray yelled in jubilation as the fans stood and applauded his triumph over 21-year-old Lehecka.
When asked how he had retaliated, Murray responded with laughter: “Undoubtedly, that was one of the most remarkable turns of events in my professional life.
“To be honest, I have no idea how I was able to reverse that situation.
“I’ll have a nice time tonight and maybe do well tomorrow.”
In Murray’s comeback since his career-saving hip surgery in January 2019, it brings to a close another astounding week.
In his first-round encounter in Qatar, he saved match points, and all four of his matches at the competition had gone to three sets.
This year, Murray has defeated all six of his opponents in decisive sets and recovered to win three matches after trailing by a match point, including one in Qatar’s first round.
Notifications for current scores, outcomes, and play order: Get tennis news on your phone.
Judith Murray responds
Andy and Jamie Murray were both tutored by Judy Murray when they first began playing tennis.
With just six serve errors, Murray breezed through the first set in in 33 minutes, giving himself a commanding lead.
Lehecka, who defeated top seed Andrey Rublev in the previous round, is one of the men’s tour’s most promising young players. He responded forcefully.
He quickly took a 4-1 lead, holding off two break attempts, and served out the set to force a tiebreaker.
In the decisive set, Murray cut a disgruntled figure, yelling at himself and his spectators after being broken to trail 2-1.
He immediately attempted to recover the break with his signature hustle, but a poor service game and some powerful hitting by Lehecka led to the Scot being broken to love.
Yet it didn’t feel like the match was over, which has been Murray’s season’s narrative. Lehecka missed his first two match points after Murray won a tough service game 5-3, and Murray pounced when his teenage rival served for the match.
Lehecka jumped out to a 40-0 lead before Murray’s passing winner, a netted backhand, and a thunderous forehand forced deuce.
Lehecka’s wayward shot brought the set back to a tie, but Murray had the upper hand and methodically held service before winning the tie-break to go to the final.