After losing to Novak Djokovic in the finals at the Qatar Open, Murray is eyeing his first ATP singles title in 2017.
Murray leads Djokovic by 2215 points going into Indian Wells but Djokovic will be defending 1000 points there and in Miami, which follows immediately after.
The top-ranked Murray, who was a Dubai finalist in 2012, improved his career record to 13-1 over Verdasco. A former world No7, he had ambitions to climb higher up the ranks again. The numero uno though does not want to take his opponent lightly and reportedly acknowledged his opponent's good run in the ongoing tournament. I know how hard it is, because I have been already No7. "I'll just will try to recover and to be as ready as possible for tomorrow".
The Spaniard was certainly playing the kind of tennis that had challenged big names before.
Verdasco's resistance ended, effectively, when he was broken in the third game of the second set, his serve - which he was just rolling in with little pace - causing Murray fewer and fewer problems as the match progressed.
The service box seemed to shrink to the size of a shoe box as Andy Murray struggled to find the right fit.
The results: At Dubai: Dubai Open: Semifinals: FernandoVerdasco bt Robin Haase 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-1; Andy Murray bt Lucas Pouille 7-5, 6-1; Quarterfinals: Murray bt Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (4), 7-6 (18), 6-1; Pouille bt Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (2).
"It's obviously a special match to win because of how it went".
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He finally bagged the second set tiebreak on his eighth set point to level the match.
'And when he's dictating the points, he's one of the best in the world at doing that'.
Then in the 12th game, Murray forced a second set point with a fine drop shot from the baseline before hitting a flawless passing shot to convert.
But the second-set breaker was about as out-of-the-ordinary as you can imagine.
And that stung Murray into action: a superb cross-court backhand victor got the break back.
At 11-10, Murray then got his second reprieve of the day when Kohlschreiber's otherwise steady one-handed backhand went wide on the deuce court for an unforced error.
"I said yesterday that being in the final of a 500 after five years is a great week for me and I have to take the positive things".