Andy Murray claims that Fernando Verdasco, who he faces in Saturday's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship final, is "one of the best in the world" at dictating matches.
It was a smart, tactical display from Murray, who charged through a 6-1 second set to book his place into the Dubai final for the second time in his career.
Verdasco was playing in a first ATP 500-level final for five years and lacked the armoury to cause Murray any problems, with the Scot needing just 72 minutes to win his first title in Dubai to become the tournament's first British victor in its 25-year history.
Andy Murray came back from an epic battle in the quarter-finals to close out his place in the Dubai final against Lucas Pouille.
But Murray will be delighted especially after coming through a testing opening period that saw him lose three of the opening four games.
Murray then returned the favour by losing his second service game on the trot, giving Verdasco a 2-1 lead.
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This match was Pouille's first against a No. 1, and his lack of big-match experience showed in the second set.
The 33-year-old Spaniard thumped a 130 miles per hour ace down the middle-his fastest serve of the tournament and his sixth ace of the week-holding for 3-1.
"I don't think it was the best match", Murray said.
Murray's serve continued to cause concern in game three, where another double fault presented two more break points to Verdasco.
Despite his defeat, Verdasco will return to the top 30 for the first time since April 2015 thanks to his run to the final. "It's been a tricky week with the drizzle and the rain and the matches starting a bit later, but once I got going today I was moving well and I finished strong". "I'm very happy to do it here for the first time and it's been a good start to the year". You can be thinking about one or two shots, but it was just a great match. Just one day after Roger Federer's shocking upset at the hands of world No. 116 Evgeny Donskoy, Murray, too, looked to be in real danger. "I lost to the number one in the world". The Serb won both previous year.