Andy Murray has to be considered a huge favorite to win the ATP dubai 2017 title (Duty Free Tennis Championships). The Scot shared a draw with Roger Federer to the tournament's final. However, the Swiss Maestro exited in a three-set loss to Evgeny Donskoy on Wednesday after making light work of Benoit Paire earlier in the tournament. The result is that Murray now has a simpler path to the make the final and win the 500-series event.

Federer seemed to have control

Roger Federer appeared to have the match at hand against Donskoy. Firstly, the Russian entered Dubai ranked outside of the Top 100 on tour and Federer hardly ever loses to such low-ranked players.

But secondly, Federer had a one set lead after winning the first 6-3. When the 2nd set went to a tiebreaker it seemed that the Australian Open champion would close the matter out. When he failed, he managed to bounce back, taking a 5-2 third-set lead. Donskoy battled all the way back however, and even overcame a 5-1 deficit in the tiebreaker for a nail-biting 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5) victory.

Murray appears to be on song

Where Federer appeared to have his tennis out of tune, Murray did not appear that way at all. The Scot defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-0 for a comprehensive win that could not have done much to tire Murray out. The Scot has a tricky opponent upcoming in Philipp Kohlschreiber, but Murray does have a 4-1 edge against the German.

Lucas Pouille also remains alive on Murray's side of the draw, however the Frenchman may be tiring soon following his efforts last week and this week combined.

The way things now look, Dubai's final will likely be Murray against a to-be-decided opponent. Gael Monfils and Fernando Verdasco are the contenders on the opposite side of the draw.

Verdasco in particular has been buzzing around the late rounds of some of these smaller events so far this season. The Spaniard almost had Novak Djokovic beat in Doha early this season and appears to be a dangerous player for Monfils to play right now, the Frenchman not entirely looking strong last week in Marseille.

Robin Haase and Damir Dzumhur both remain alive in the draw as well. They will meet in the quarters on the bottom half, however neither player appears threatening for the title based on their histories.