DUBAI, March 4 (Agencies): Andy Murray could not repeat his semi-final heroics as Roger Federer won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a straight-sets victory on Saturday.
The day after inflicting a first defeat of the season on world number one Novak Djokovic, Murray went down 7-5, 6-4 in just over an hour and a half.
The Scot did break the 16-time grand slam champion for the first time in the tournament, but Federer always looked to have the edge. Murray�s serve, which had been so impressive against Djokovic, deserted him in the final, as his first-serve percentage dropped below 50% and he won just 56% of points on his second serve.
The three-time major finalist had beaten Federer in the last two finals they had been in, Shanghai and Toronto in 2010, but his opponent was too good this time. Federer was soon into his stride and took Murray to deuce before the Scot held his serve in the opening game.
The Swiss also had to hold in his first service game before Murray went 2-1 ahead, sealing the game with an ace. The former world number one was giving as good as he got, though, and two effortless winners set him up to take the next game.
Murray continued the service holds and then carved out two break points as Federer sent a weak shot into the net.
But the two-time Australian Open finalist wasted both with unforced errors as Federer went on to level the match at 3-3 in style. An overhand smash helped the Scot close out the seventh game for a 4-3 lead.
Neither player was giving an inch and Murray kept up the pressure to make Federer serve to stay in the first set at 5-4 down.
The Swiss was up to the challenge and then moved 40-0 ahead on Murray�s serve to turn the heat back up on his opponent.
Murray dug deep to save the three break points and then a fourth, but he could not shake off Federer, who made the decisive break at the fifth time of asking before closing out the set.
Murray held at the start of the second set, but Federer was now in the groove, while his opponent was rocking.
The Swiss held to love and broke and then held to love again to go 3-1 in front to close in on yet another title.
The Scot was not going to go down without a fight, though, and closed the gap to 3-2.
He then carved out a break point with a lob and volley at the net and took it as Federer netted following another Murray lob.
It was the first time Federer had dropped serve all week and put Murray right back in the contest.
Federer was still playing the better tennis, though, and another break in the ninth game as Murray put a two-handed backhand into the net left him serving for the title.
Federer was really turning on the style now and, despite Murray saving the first match point, took the second with a booming forward to clinch victory and his fifth Dubai crown.