ST PETERSBURG, Oct 28 (Reuters) Briton Andy Murray crushed Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-3 in the final of the St Petersburg Open today to win his second title of the year on his debut appearance in Russia's second city.
The second seed broke Verdasco twice in each set to claim a comfortable victory after one hour 18 minutes.
The Spanish sixth seed, who had not dropped a set in his four previous matches on his way to the final, made far too many unforced errors to put up a good fight.
Murray faced only one break point against him, in the fourth game of the second set, while converting both of his chances in the first set and going two for five in the second.
He earned the first break in the third game and repeated the trick in the fifth to take a one-set lead, then broke the Spaniard again at the start of the second.
The world number 16 held his nerve to maintain his advantage before breaking Verdasco once more in the final game to earn the third title of his career, after winning twice in San Jose.
The win greatly enhanced Murray's chances of qualifying for next month's season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, featuring the world's top eight players.
Several players are still fighting for the two remaining spots, with the 20-year-old Scot moving up into the 11th spot, just three points behind eighth-placed German Tommy Haas.
REUTERS GT RAI2302