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Summary

  1. Murray wins final 6-3 6-2 v Fernando Verdasco
  2. Match lasts just 72 minutes
  3. Murray's first title of 2017 and 45th in total

Live Reporting

By Amy Lofthouse

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye!

Murray 6-3 6-2 Verdasco

The first title of the year for Murray, and a decent boost for him ahead of the Indian Wells Open, which starts on 6 March.

It's his first title in Dubai, making him the first Brit to win the title, and his 45th overall.

Thanks for joining us. Until next time!

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'It's been a tricky week'

Murray 6-3 6-2 Verdasco

Andy Murray on his victory today: "Obviously I'm very happy to do it here for the first time. It's been a good start to the year.

"Often when you get through matches like that (quarter-final against Philipp Kohlschreiber) it settles you down for the rest of the tournament.

"It's been quite a few late finishes this week. Maybe the last couple of matches, I didn't start as well as I would like. It's been the same for all the players, a bit tricky with the rain. Once I got going today, I was moving well and I finished strong.

On what's next: "I struggled at the Indian Wells and Miami last year, I didn't play so well. This year has given me great momentum."

Murray 6-3 6-2 Verdasco

Not the most fluent of performances from Murray, and he was helped by a shaky effort from Verdasco. He's secured his first title in Dubai though.

Game, set and match to Murray

Murray 6-3 6-2 Verdasco

A comprehensive victory for Murray. He raises his arms in celebration. It's taken him one hour and 12 minutes to secure his first title of the year, and the 45th of his career.

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Murray 6-3 5-2 Verdasco*

Verdasco tries an overhead drop shot, but it's in an awkward position and it sails into the net. Verdasco puts his hands on his knees and drops his head. It's been one of those days.

Into the net goes his backhand, and that's 30-0 to Murray. Too good from Murray, Verdasco racing back and forth before Murray pops it over the net. Three championship points to Murray.

*Murray 6-3 5-2 Verdasco

Murray's looked more comfortable in this second set, although Verdasco hasn't tested him nearly enough as he might have. He's serving for his first Dubai title.

Murray breaks

*Murray 6-3 5-2 Verdasco

The umpire tells the crowd to "relax!" as they furiously applaud Verdasco after that last ace.

Break point number three comes up as Verdasco nets his forehand, but a nifty challenge from Verdasco means the point will be replayed.

The Spaniard ends up sprawling under Murray's attack, and his overhead shot is out. A break for Murray, and he'll be serving for the title.

*Murray 6-3 4-2 Verdasco

Verdasco tries to flick the ball up from deep on the baseline but sends it flying out of bounds, before he finally chucks a bit of firepower into his second serve to draw the error out of Murray.

The Spaniard fights back to make it deuce, Murray shaking his head as a few shots go awry. Frustration for Verdasco though as his drop shot hits the net and Murray's box are on their feet. An ace takes it back to deuce.

Murray 6-3 4-2 Verdasco*

Overhead smash from Murray as Verdasco miscues his shot into the air, before down comes a winner to take it to 30-15.

Verdasco's fading now, especially with Murray finding his range with his first serve, before Verdasco knocks his forehand into the net. 

*Murray 6-3 3-2 Verdasco

Lovely from Murray, up on tiptoes to hammer a shot beyond Verdasco, before he nets with a nothing sort of return.

That's better from Verdasco, taking advantage of a few Murray fluffs to hold his serve. Murray taps his racquet against his knee in irritation.

Murray holds

Murray 6-3 3-1 Verdasco*

Murray is being given plenty of time on the ball and that's an easy hold for him. He's found a bit of rhythm, Verdasco slicing into the net a few times, and the Spaniard's foot movement isn't great.

* denotes next server

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Murray breaks

*Murray 6-3 2-1 Verdasco

Verdasco thinks he's won a point up at the net but that is superb from Murray. He rushes forward to meet the drop shot and goes cross court with a forehand, Verdasco barely moving to meet it.

The Spaniard saves one break point as he finally wins a point at the net, Murray unable to turn in time, but that's an assured forehand winner from Murray.

Murray 6-3 1-1 Verdasco*

Verdasco chunters to himself frustrations as his forehand twice goes flying out and he can't take advantage of Murray's second serve, again spearing his forehand out.

Oops. That's, er, not great from Verdasco. In theory it was a lovely, floaty backhand. In reality he's netted it and looked a bit daft. He changed his shot just before the ball arrived, and paid the price. Murray holds.

*Murray 6-3 0-1 Verdasco

Murray has Verdasco scampering up and down the baseline, the Spaniard twisting on a backhand, before another tussle at the net goes Murray's way. Verdasco's forehand is messy, no pace on it at all, and it's far too easy for Murray to drop over the net.

An ace gives Verdasco a 40-30 lead, before another ensures he holds. Plenty of gusto on that one.

Murray 6-3 Verdasco*

Murray won 32 points in that first set to Verdasco's 20, and Verdasco has won nothing when he's come up to the net.

Neither of them look comfortable, but Murray's extra fizz - and his ability to channel that irritation into his serve, which has improved as the match has gone on - means he's taken the first set.

Game and first set to Murray

Murray 6-3 Verdasco*

Murray has started to get going, an ace and then a slammed forehand letting him race to a 40-0 lead.

Out goes Verdasco's forehand, and that's game and first set to Murray. He's had barely any rhythm, he's looked frustrated and annoyed, yet he's taken the first set in just over half an hour. 

*Murray 5-3 Verdasco

Verdasco squandered a 40-0 lead in that last game. He's thoroughly unimpressed.

Murray breaks again

*Murray 5-3 Verdasco

Verdasco puts some extra zip into his serve and Murray's floaty backhand goes awry, before a hammered forehand winner makes it 30-0.

That's wasteful from Verdasco though, a fine double-handed forehand looking to have won the game, but Murray gets a touch and Verdasco, edging forward, nets.

Break point Murray now, Verdasco too gentle on his serve, before he misses his forehand again! Hands on hips time from Verdasco.

Murray 4-3 Verdasco*

Four double faults from Murray so far, and only 46% on his first serve. He's not looked best pleased.

Murray 4-3 Verdasco*

Ah, there's that familiar "come on!" from Murray as he batters an ace past Verdasco. 

Brilliant work from this pair now, the longest rally of the match, ending with Verdasco sprawled on the floor. He was pushing Murray further back before hopping to the net, but Murray was equal to it in the end.

A double fault gets the Spaniard on the board, but ultimately it's an easy hold for Murray. 

Murray breaks

*Murray 3-3 Verdasco

Up to the net comes Murray, picking up Verdasco's drop shot and the Spaniard overworks his response. Lovely work from Murray.

In fact, Verdasco's struggling on his serve. Murray speeds to three break points, his opponent continually overhitting, and that's a speedy break for Murray. 

Murray 2-3 Verdasco*

When Murray's first serve goes his way, Verdasco struggles. All of Murray's frustration is thrown into two aces that Verdasco can only edge out.

Having said that, Murray lets a 40-15 advantage go to waste, slicing into the net before his backhand goes awry, taking it to deuce.

Some fans with Scotland deely-boppers applaud as Murray holds. It's not been the most rhythmic of starts from either player.

*Murray 1-3 Verdasco

The first real rally we've had since the opening game goes Murray's way, before Verdasco rescues himself with a hearty thwack forehand.

A two-handed backhand puts Verdasco up but Murray darts across and forces Verdasco to hit the net, giving us our first deuce of the match.

The early advantage goes to Verdasco as Murray slices into the net - and lets out an almighty grunt of frustration - and bam, there's the ace. Verdasco holds!

Murray 1-2 Verdasco*

Murray is not a happy bunny. Plenty of shouting and gesticulating as he takes a long slurp of water.

Can Verdasco hold his serve this time? Neither player is looking comfortable at the minute.

Verdasco breaks again

Murray 1-2 Verdasco*

Cracking response from Verdasco to Murray's second serve, an almighty heave backhand that Murray can't get near.

A forehand winner down the line from Verdasco has Murray looking several shades of bemused, and another double fault on Murray's serve again gives Verdasco two break points.

Up to the net comes Murray, but there's too much on that, and he's dropped his serve for the second time! He challenges but no dice. Ten minutes and we've had three breaks.

Murray breaks back

*Murray 1-1 Verdasco

What's Verdasco got up his sleeve? He opts to come up to the net and Murray responds by hammering a forehand back past him. He'll need a bit more oomph for that to work.

Twice Verdasco slices into the net and he swings his racquet in frustration. Three break points for Murray and he doesn't miss a beat, Verdasco over hitting to make it all square.

Verdasco breaks Murray

Murray 0-1 Verdasco*

The first rally goes Murray's way as Verdasco overhits his backhand, before a double fault makes it 15-15.

However the first serve isn't going Murray's way, and two early double faults hand Verdasco two break points.

Murray's response? A belting, big ace that Verdasco spoons into the air, before Murray forehands into his own net. An early break for the Spaniard and a grunt of frustration from Murray.

* denotes next server

Murray, already dripping with sweat, whacks a few practice serves about as both players prepare themselves.

A full house in Dubai watches on. Here we go.

Murray v Verdasco

This is the first time these two have met since the Paris Masters last year, where Murray won in three sets.

Verdasco will be hoping to channel their 2013 Wimbledon epic, where he fought back from going two sets down to claim an epic five-set victory in just over three hours.

It's already been a good day for one Murray.

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Murray v Verdasco

Murray's dressed all in black while Verdasco has opted for a fetching, luminous orange and white combination.

Murray wins the coin toss and opts to serve first, after the traditional photo opportunity.

Murray v Verdasco

Both players are out on court having a warm-up.

It's the second time Murray has reached the final in Dubai. He lost to Roger Federer in his previous final appearance in 2012.

Verdasco's route to the final

Murray v Verdasco

This is the first time Fernando Verdasco has reached the finals in Dubai, and he's toppled some notable names along the way,

A two hour, 25 minute battle with sixth seed Bautista Agut was in the balance all the way, before Verdsaco came out on top.

He then beat fourth seed and world number 12 Gael Monfils to reach the semi-finals, where he defeated defeated Robin Haase 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-1.

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Murray and Verdasco were practising with each other just a week ago...

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Murray's route to the final

Murray v Verdasco

A bout of shingles was Murray's first stumbling block when he arrived in Dubai - but that was soon sorted out after his mother-in-law diagnosed the problem.

He beat Malek Jaziri in straight sets as he returned to action following a five week break, before beating Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-0.

He then overcame a 31-minute second-set tie-break with Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the quarter-finals, finally securing his place after a 20-18 tie-break.

Then a relatively straightforward victory over France's Lucas Pouille secured him a place in his second Dubai final.

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Head to head

Murray v Verdasco

Murray has an excellent record against Verdasco, losing just one of their previous 13 meetings.

That defeat came back in 2009 at the Australian Open, with the Spaniard triumphing 2-6 6-1 1-6 6-3 6-4 in the fourth round.

"He's had a pretty good start to the year," Murray said of his opponent.

"I think where the balls are fairly heavy here on a quick court, he can generate a lot of power, he can control the ball."

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Welcome!

Murray v Verdasco

Andy Murray, the world number one, is into his second final of the year, facing world number 35 Fernando Verdasco.

It's his 14th final in his last 16 events, and along the way he's overcome a bout of shingles - ouch! - and the longest tour-level match tie-break since 1991.

We'll bring you live text commentary of Murray's final as he searches for his first title of the year.

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