Andy Murray wins first title since 2019 with victory over Tommy Paul | Andy Murray

Andy Murray claimed his first title since October 2019 with victory at the ATP Challenger event in Aix‑en‑Provence. The Scot, playing with a metal hip, last won in Antwerp three and a half years ago and, although this is a second-tier tournament, he will take great pride in this confidence-boosting success ahead of the French Open.

Having breezed past lowly-ranked French players on his run to the final, the standard was lifted and Murray came good, beating the world No. 17 Tommy Paul of the USA 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 to lift the title. In doing so the Scot ensures his return to the top 50 of the rankings and a first Challenger Tour-level win for 18 years.

It looked like it might slip away after a poor start that saw him lose the first four games of the match to the hand of Paul, an Australian Open semi-finalist earlier this year, the advantage. The 25-year-old American coasted to the first set, but that was as good as it got as Murray came to the fore.

QuickGuide

How do I sign up for sport breaking news alerts?

Show

  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhone or the Google Play store on Android by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the Menu button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sports notifications.

Thank you for your feedback.

The Scot turned the tables by winning the first five games of the second set, including two breaks of serve, and soon leveled up. Murray, eight days before his 36th birthday, broke in the opening game of the decider and did not look back as a second break consolidated his lead, allowing him to seal a memorable title.

Murray took a late wildcard into the tournament following an early exit from the Madrid Open and will now decide whether to go to Rome or rest and prepare for the French Open, which begins on 22 May.

Murray told atptour.com: “This last year, 18 months has been a bit of struggle with my game. But [my team] have been there supporting me and working with me to try and get better. We keep going from here.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *