Andy Murray triumphed in the Valencia Open final after a dramatic match which saw the Scot save five match points against Tommy Robredo.
In a match which swung first one way and then the other, the Scot eventually won 3-6 7-6 (9/7) 7-6 (10/8) claiming the final set on a tie-break against his Spanish opponent.
The victory is a massive step for Murray in qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals as he moved up to fifth in the Race to London standings with ninth place enough to qualify.
Robredo must be sick of the sight of Murray after his British opponent had also saved five match points against him when he won the Shenzhen Open title in southern China last month.
This match was equally exhausting, lasting three hours and 20 minutes – the longest final on the ATP world tour this year – and at the end Robredo appeared to make a jokey obscene gesture at his opponent.
It was the 31st title of Murray’s career and was further demonstration that he is back on track – Shenzhen was his first title victory in 14 months.
Murray appeared nervous in the first set which his Spanish opponent won comfortably 6-3. It was much tighter in the second set but in the tie-break Robredo had two points to win the title but Murray produced some battling heroics to hold on and then take the set himself, winning the tie-break 9-7.
It looked equally dicey for Murray when Robredo broke serve to take a 4-3 lead in the final set but the Scot drew on reserves of energy to break back immediately to level the match.
It was Robredo’s turn then to rescue a match point against him and take the final set to a tie-break, with both players looking to be on their last legs.
The 32-year-old Spaniard saw three more match points come and go before he netted to give Murray the chance of victory and he made no mistake with a backhand winner after a fierce final rally.