Novak Djokovic landed a potentially significant psychological blow in his rivalry with Andy Murray, as he overcame a fightback from the world number one to retain his Qatar Open title in dramatic fashion on Saturday.
Djokovic looked to have spurned the chance to end Murray's lengthy winning streak, which stood at an impressive 28 matches, as he failed to convert three championship points on his own serve in the second set.
However, despite showing signs of fatigue and frustration thereafter, the Serbian found a second wind and duly came through the decider to triumph 6-3 5-7 6-4 and secure a welcome boost ahead of his defence of the Australian Open.
Murray has lost to Djokovic in four of the last six finals at Melbourne Park and may well reflect on a missed opportunity to gain further momentum ahead of the year's first grand slam, having seized the number one ranking from his main rival at the end of the 2016 season.
Despite his defeat in Doha, which prevented him from claiming a sixth successive title on the ATP World Tour, Murray will remain at the summit of the rankings when they are updated on Monday.