(Reuters) - Andy Murray again saved five match points against Tommy Robredo in a final when he fought back to win 3-6 7-6 (7) 7-6 (8) at the Valencia Open on Sunday and secure valuable points for his World Tour finals bid.
The grueling battle at the cathedral-like Agora arena, at three hours and 20 minutes the longest final of the year on the ATP World Tour, was a repeat of last month’s Shenzhen Open showpiece, when Murray fought off five match points against the Spaniard on the way to a 5-7 7-6 (9) 6-1 success.
A wildcard at the Valencia indoor hardcourt event, which he won in 2009, third seed Murray produced an erratic display against unseeded Robredo but had just enough in the tank to claim a 31st career singles title.
After thumping a backhand winner to seal victory, the Scot, who squandered a match point earlier in the third set, collapsed to the floor and barely had enough strength to get to the net to greet his equally exhausted opponent.
The win earned Murray, playing his 20th match in five weeks having also won in Vienna this month, a further 200 points and lifted him to fifth in the race to secure a spot at the season-ending eight-man Tour finals in London.
Along with Kei Nishikori, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, he will be looking to secure one of the four remaining berths at this week’s Paris Masters.
“I played well at the right moments,” Murray told reporters.
“I know it was an incredible match,” added the 27-year-old. “The tennis at the end and in the second set was high level.”
After an intense first set with Robredo in the ascendancy, Murray upped his game in the second before failing to convert three break points on the Robredo serve that would have given him a 5-2 lead.
The Scot then played a woeful game to hand a break back and home favorite Robredo had two match points in the tiebreak that would have given him a 13th career title.
However, Murray dug deep to take the match to a third set and after missing his chance to seal victory with Robredo serving at 4-5 managed to come through the deciding tiebreak by fending off a further three match points.
“It was an amazing match, and you have to enjoy it,” Robredo said.
“Unfortunately someone has to win and it was decided by a few balls,” added the 32-year-old.
“I guess that when I finish the season next week and I watch today’s match against one of the best players we have right now, I will be very happy.”
Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Mark Meadows