Andy Murray admitted that being able to pull through humid conditions was the key to his semi-final win over Juan Monaco in the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open on Saturday.
The world number 11 was forced to fight back from a set behind to beat his Argentine opponent 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, as he won nine consecutive games to book his place in the final.
The Briton has at last managed to reach his first final at an ATP tournament since winning Wimbledon last year, and he will face Tommy Robredo of Spain in the final on Sunday.
Feeling the heat
This year is the inaugural tournament for the Shenzhen Open, and it is the last outdoor hard court event of the year, with players being exposed to soaring temperatures.
Murray confessed after the match that he had not been able to compete until being tied at 3-3 in the second set, as he struggled to deal with the heat.
The 27-year-old said: “The turning point was when we were 3-3 in the second set, but before that he was dominating the match.
“I found it very tough in the sun. It's extremely hot and humid and I'm not used to that where I come from. I spend a lot of time in England, it's pretty cold there most of the time, but I came through."
Robredo, ranked 22 in the world, set up the meeting with Murray after beating Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
A tough final
Murray leads 3-2 on head-to-head matches against the 32-year-old, and he won their last contest in the third round on the way to winning Wimbledon, which he won in three sets, though he is not expecting a comfortable match on the Centre Court.
"It'll be a very tough match. Tommy's a very experienced player. He's played some very good tennis this year.
"He beat Novak Djokovic a few weeks ago in Cincinnati and he's always a very difficult player to beat so I'll need to play a good match if I want to win."
It was vital that the two-time Grand Slam winner reached the latter stages of the tournament, as he is aiming to gain more ranking points to help him qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
Last dash for London
The Dunblane-born player is in danger of failing to qualify for the tournament for the first time since 2007, as it is played between the year-ending top eight ranked players.
Murray may be required to finish in the top seven this year, as ninth placed Croat Marin Cilic will only need to finish in the top 20 to qualify, having won a Grand Slam at the US Open earlier in September.
There will be 100 points difference in winning and losing the final, and Murray will then have two further tournaments to boost his ranking at ATP Masters 1000 Series events in Shanghai next week and Paris in October.
It has been a difficult year for Murray, as his world ranking has fallen by seven positions, and he has not been able to add to his 28 career singles titles.
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