SPORTS

Andy Murray wins his first title of the year in Dubai

  • Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Andy Murray of Great Britain returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco of Spain during the final match of the Dubai Tennis Championships, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, March 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

Andy Murray captured his first title of the year and became the first British man to win the Dubai Tennis Championships in its 25-year history when he defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday.

This was Murray's seventh final in his last eight tournaments, and 14th in his last 16 dating to last May in Madrid.

The only two tournaments he failed to make the final in that period were the 2016 U.S. Open and 2017 Australian Open.

The top-ranked Murray, who was a Dubai finalist in 2012, improved his career record to 13-1 over Verdasco.

The first three games were service breaks as the players attempted to find their range in the final.

Verdasco had the service break until the Spaniard was broken by Murray in the sixth and then the eighth games to take the first set.

Murray broke Verdasco's serve twice in the second set, in the third game with a forehand winner, and in the seventh on a third break point.

The 35th-ranked Verdasco, a former top-10 player, has never beaten a No. 1-ranked player in 12 career attempts.

Murray became the fourth player this year to win a title having saved match points en route to the title. He faced a career high seven match points in defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarterfinals.