Andy Murray is still alive in the 2017 Atp Dubai draw this week, but only by the skin of his teeth. The Scot lost the first set to Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, setting up a chance for the underdog to advance. With Roger Federer already out of the draw at the hands of Evgeny Donskoy, that would have seen the top-two favorites out of the draw before Friday in Dubai.

Murray saved several match points

Kohlschreiber certainly had a great look at winning the quarterfinal of the 500-series event against Murray. In a lengthy second set that went to 20-18 in a tiebreaker, Murray saved all of seven match points in the 2nd set.

That set up a deciding third set where the German was a shadow of the player he was in the opening sets. Murray raced to a victory there 6-1 to book his spot in the semifinals.

On the opposite side of the draw, Fernando Verdasco eliminated fourth-seed Gael Monfils. The Spaniard looks great to make the final this weekend as he will face Robin Haase next. Haase has a much worse late-round record in tour-level events than Verdasco, a player who has won seven titles on the ATP Tour in his career.

Murray to face Lucas Pouille

For Murray, the Scot will face Lucas Pouille. The French player was one that started the 2017 season off on the wrong foot in the South Pacific. However, last week he made the Marseille final and now he's into the Dubai semifinals.

It's not clear where his energy levels will be after all of his efforts over the last week and a half. Furthermore, he was involved in a long quarterfinal as he barely defeated Donskoy, going to a third-set tiebreaker and having to save some break points deep in the third set.

Murray does have a strong record against Pouille, a player that is still a relative newcomer on tour.

They met three times last season and Murray cruised through each match in straight sets. Furthermore, all the sets within the three total matches were all one sided in favor of the Scot. A 6-1, 6-3 result in the Shanghai Masters is as close as Pouille got to Murray, suggesting that the World No. 1 will advance to the final, likely to face Verdasco.

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