Murray faces Djokovic showdown

07 January 2017 03:14:56 EST

Andy Murray will get a chance to strike a pre-Australian Open psychological blow when he takes on Novak Djokovic in the final of the Qatar Open.

World number one Murray defeated Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-4 to set up a showdown with Djokovic, who survived five match points to eventually edge out Fernando Verdasco 4-6 7-6 6-3.

It's been the perfect week to get ready for the Australian Open.

Andy Murray

And Murray, who is now on a run of 28 match wins in a row, says he is delighted to have made such a good start to the New Year, having ended 2016 on a major high by toppling Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

He told Eurosport: "I want to try and keep it going, I feel a little bit like this year's a fresh start.

"The end to last year was a great way to finish the year, but it's great to be through to the final here and a great match against Novak to look forward to.

"It's been the perfect week to get ready for the Australian Open."

Murray can become only the second man, after Roger Federer, to win the Qatar Open on three occasions by beating Djokovic, with the Scot having previously taken the honours in 2008 and 2009

Murray is 8/13 to beat Djokovic in the Qatar Open final and is 3/1 to do so in three sets, with the Serb 4/1 to prevail in a three-set encounter.

Following the showdown in the Middle East, Murray and Djokovic head to Melbourne, with the Australian Open getting under way 16th January.

Djokovic has won in Melbourne on six occasions, including in each of the last two years, while Murray has lost in the final no fewer than five times - with four of those losses coming at the hands of his Serbian rival.

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