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Saturday, January 5, 2008
Murray subdues Wawrinka for first title without Gilbert as coach

Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar -- Andy Murray defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 Saturday to win the Qatar Open, his first tournament since splitting with coach Brad Gilbert.

Murray, seeded third, won his fourth ATP title and beat his unseeded Swiss opponent for the first time. It also was his first hard-court title.

"I had never won a tournament in the first week of the season," said Murray, who lost last year's final to Ivan Ljubicic. "It is great going into the Australian Open."

Murray broke with Gilbert in November.

"I worked really hard in the offseason, on my fitness and on my tennis," Murray said. "It's the hardest I've ever worked in my life, so I'm happy it paid off this week."

Murray's previous titles came in San Jose, Calif., and St. Petersburg last year, and in San Jose in 2006.

"He improved a lot last year, and I think he's going to be much better," Wawrinka said. "It's very difficult to play against him, to come to the net or to stay back."

Murray broke Wawrinka in the opening game of the first set and again in the third and seventh games. After unforced errors, Murray lost his serve in the second and sixth games. Wawrinka evened the match after Murray dropped serve in the 10th game of the second set.

Murray dominated the deciding set, breaking serve in the first and seventh games and clinching the title after Wawrinka's backhand went wide.