Andy Murray saved seven match-points in a 31-minute tiebreak that stretched to 38 points before he finally subdued Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4) 7-6(18) 6-1 to reach the Dubai Championships semi-final on Thursday.
A day after Australian Open champion Roger Federer was surprisingly beaten in the second round, world number one Murray found himself a point away - time and time again - from following the Swiss great through the exit door.
However, Murray showed the resilience that carried him to the top of the tennis rankings last November as he inflicted a heartbreaking loss on Kohlschreiber.
He finally bagged the second set tiebreak on his eighth set point to level the match. The ATP said it was the longest breaker on the men’s tour since the 2007 Australian Open.
The marathon tiebreak effectively left Kohlschreiber running on empty in the third set and Murray needed only another 30 minutes to secure a last four meeting with either Frenchman Lucas Pouille or Federer’s Russian conqueror Evgeny Donskoy.
The other semi-final will feature Fernando Verdasco and Robin Haase.
Murray survives 38-point tiebreak to reach Dubai semis