The Dubai tournament, one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar, ended at the weekend with a win for Roger Federer over Andy Murray.
The two players were trying to get over the pain of losing in the semi-finals of last month’s Australian Open, but it was the Swiss maestro who left the Middle East a happy man by winning 7-5, 6-4.
It was another disappointment for Murray. He lost an epic match in Melbourne to eventual winner and world number one Novak Djokovic, but had turned on the style to defeat the Serbian in the semi-final in Dubai.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
Despite that morale booster, he couldn’t find a way past Federer.
Murray may have a good record against Federer, but this is the fifth win in Dubai for the veteran.
“This is perfect. This is great. Any title is a good one, I'll tell you that,” Federer said. “I have a losing record against Murray, I do believe, and not against Novak…I don't want to say (beating Murray) means more to me, but it's a beautiful victory.”
Amazingly, it's the 72nd title in Federer’s glittering career.
Murray, who has yet to win a major title despite appearing in three finals was philosophical about his defeat.
“For sure, I made a few too many mistakes in the second, and he was playing a lot more aggressive than in the first set,” Murray said. “Sets can come down to just a couple (of) points. You get a lucky shot here or one great shot and you can break the set wide open.”
The women’s competition was won by Agnieszka Radwanska, the fifth seed in her first appearance in the tournament, and she pocketed just over $400,000,
She defeated Julia Georges by exactly the same score line as the men’s final.
The Pole may have been helped by the withdrawal of world number one Victoria Azarenka and number three Petra Kvitova, but she shrugged off their absence.
“Winning big tournaments is always great for the confidence. Even if those two girls pulled out, it's a lot of other great players playing,” she said.
The tennis season is now fully into gear, with the French Open starting in May as the glamour games start to come thick and fast. For Federer and Radwanska, however, the season is already proving a very good one.