Tennis-Robredo beats Murray to clinch Metz Open

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METZ, France, Oct 7 (Reuters) Spain's Tommy Robredo took a major step towards a berth at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai when he beat Briton Andy Murray 0-6 6-2 6-3 to clinch the Metz Open title today.

Top seed Robredo, who appeared to be heading for an embarrassing defeat when he allowed third seed Murray to clinch the first set in 23 minutes, will be eighth in the ATP Race standings tomorrow The claycourt specialist hit back in the second set, breaking in the first game before forcing his opponent into a decider.

Robredo again broke in the first game of the third set and never looked back, wrapping up his sixth career title in one hour and 52 minutes.

''It's my first title on a hard court, that is great,'' Robredo told reporters. ''My goal here was at least to reach the final so that I could better my points tally in the Race.

''It boosts my confidence for the Masters Cup, which is my main objective. I pulled out of the Stockholm Open. I have to be realistic, I have to prepare for the Madrid Masters Series,'' Robredo added.

Murray, whose season has been hampered by a wrist injury, was bidding for his third ATP title.

''The lesson to learn is that you must not ease the pressure after winning a set easily,'' the Scot told a news conference.

''However, it has been a good week. I'm now heading to Paris to catch a flight to Moscow,'' added Murray, who will meet Russian Evgeny Korolev in the first round of the Kremlin Cup.

REUTERS PDT VC2232

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