Andy Murray
In-form Murray eyes maiden title in Dubai Reuters

Andy Murray takes on Fernando Verdasco in the final of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2017 on Saturday.

Murray defeated seventh seed Lucas Pouille 7-5, 6-1 in his semi-final clash on Friday to reach his second final in Dubai after his 2012 title-match loss to Roger Federer. The top seed looked unsettled in the first set, especially after his marathon quarter-final against Philipp Kohlschreiber, in which he saved seven match points in a 31-minute second set tie-breaker. However, after claiming the set with his third break over the Frenchman, the Brit was able to dominate the second set.

Murray has been without a title since the start of the new season. While he went down in the Qatar Open final against Novak Djokovic in January, the in-form player suffered a fourth-round shock exit at the Australian Open, losing a four-setter to Mischa Zverev.

However, Murray has been looking good in Dubai and by holding his nerves in the toughest of situations, he has shown he is hungry for more success this season. Notably, he has reached the seventh final of his last eight tournaments and he will be facing one of his familiar foes at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre on Saturday.

Murray is heading into the match as favourite to clinch the title as he has a 12-2 head-to-head advantage over his opponent with him winning their last seven meetings. The numero uno though does not want to take his opponent lightly and reportedly acknowledged his opponent's good run in the ongoing tournament.

Notably, Verdasco began the year by reaching the semi-final in Doha but suffered early exits in Melbourne, Montpellier and Rotterdam but the world number 35 has found form again with impressive wins over higher-ranked players - Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut.

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