Murray survives 20-18 tiebreaker at Dubai

Andy Murray saved seven match points before beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7 (4), 7-6 (18), 6-1 on Thursday to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The second-set tiebreaker – 31 minutes, 6 seconds long – produced all the high-intensity drama tennis can offer, featuring the seven match points for Kohlschreiber before Murray prevailed on an eighth-set point.

“I have never played a tiebreak that long ever,” Murray said. “I’ll probably never play another one like that again.”

The ATP said the 20-18 tiebreaker was the sixth on tour since 1991. There have been no others with more points.

Murray is playing his first tournament since losing in the Australian Open fourth round and overcoming a bout with shingles.

Earlier, former top-10 star Fernando Verdasco upset fourth-seeded Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.

MEXICAN OPEN: Rafael Nadal ran his Mexican Open winning streak to 13 matches, beating Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach the semifinals at Acapulco.

The tournament winner in 2005 and 2013, Nadal needed almost two hours to finish off Nishioka. The 30-year-old Spanish star overcame a 4-2 deficit in the first set and got out of a 0-2 hole in the second.

Nadal will face third-seed Marin Cilic, the Croatian who advanced when American Steve Johnson withdrew because of a right ankle injury.

 On the women’s side, American Christina McHale beat Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig 6-2, 6-2. The fifth-seed McHale, in her second straight semifinal round in Acapulco, will second-seed Kristina Mladenovic of France. Mladenovic beat Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-3.


MEN’S BASKETBALL: Semi Ojeleye scored 26 points with a perfect night from the field and No. 14 SMU (26-4, 16-1) clinched at least a share of the American Athletic Conference title with a 93-70 victory over Tulsa (14-15, 8-9) at Dallas.

 Gary Clark had 14 points and seven rebounds in Cincinnati’s balanced attack, and the 18th-ranked Bearcats (26-4, 15-2 AAC) rolled to their 26th straight win at home, 65-47 over Houston (20-9, 11-6).

• Jordan Bohannon hit the winning 3-pointer with 9 seconds left, and visiting Iowa (17-13, 9-8 Big Ten) capitalized on No. 22 Wisconsin’s sloppy final few minutes with a 7-0 run to beat the Badgers 59-57.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr each scored 17 points and No. 14 Louisville (26-6) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with 68-46 win over Clemson (15-16) at Conway, South Carolina.

 Keyona Hayes scored 16 points and No. 16 Miami (22-7) earned an 87-71 victory over Georgia Tech (17-14) in the another second-round ACC Tournament game at Conway.

• Alexis Peterson made four 3-pointers and scored 29 points and 21st-ranked Syracuse (21-9) defeated North Carolina (15-16) 83-64 in the second round of the ACC Tournament at Conway.

• Becca Hittner scored 22 points and Lizzy Wendell 21 and No. 22 Drake extended its school-record winning streak to 18 games, beating Missouri State 98-91 despite a 46-point performance from the Lady Bears’ Liza Fruendt at Des Moines, Iowa.


WORLD CUP: Olympic super-G champion Anna Veith, out for at least six months following knee surgery, is expected to recover in time for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

The two-time overall World Cup champion from Austria was released from the hospital on Thursday, two days after having the patellar tendon in her left knee surgically repaired.

NORDIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Norway won the women’s 4×5-kilometer relay at Lahti, Finland.The Norwegians were tied with Finland at the halfway point, but Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen opened up a lead of 56 seconds on the third leg.

If a Norwegian wins gold in Saturday’s 30-kilometer freestyle race, it would make the country the first to win all women’s events at a single Nordic world championships since Russia did it 20 years ago.