VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) – Andy Murray saved five match points to win his third title in the past month by beating Tommy Robredo 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (10/8) in a marathon Valencia Open final on Sunday.
Murray had also saved five match points to beat Robredo in the final in Shenzhen last month, but appeared to be suffering from the exertions of playing his 20th match in 28 days when he dropped the first set.
However, the Scot somehow ground out the victory as he saved match points in both tie-breaks in the second and third sets to seal his 31st career title in the longest ATP final of the year after three hours and 19 minutes.
Victory is also a huge boost to Murray’s hopes of making the ATP World Tour finals as he moves up to fifth in the Race to London standings with just the Paris Masters next week to come.
“Unbelievable match, (he’s a) great fighter,” said an exhausted Murray.
“He’s 32 now and in unbelievable shape, he’s still improving. I don’t know what else to say, but I have a lot of respect for you and I’m sorry about today.”
Robredo, meanwhile, paid tribute to Murray’s never say die attitude.
“He is so tough, he has more lives than a cat. Players like him don’t gift you anything, to beat them you have to play a spectacular match,” said the world number 21.