HomeNewsAndy Murray beats Tommy Paul in Aix-en-Provence final for first title since...

Andy Murray beats Tommy Paul in Aix-en-Provence final for first title since 2019


Andy Murray reaches for a forehand
Murray last won a title on clay in 2016

Andy Murray won his first title in nearly four years by beating Tommy Paul in the final of the ATP Challenger event in Aix-en-Provence.

Briton Murray, 35, came back from a set down against American top seed Paul to win 2-6 6-1 6-2.

It is the three-time Grand Slam champion’s first title since winning in Antwerp in 2019, and his first on clay since 2016 in Rome.

It is his first title at the second-tier Challenger level since 2005.

“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,” said Murray.

“We keep going from here.”

Fifth seed Murray took a late wildcard entry into the tournament to get more clay-court match time before the French Open, following first-round exits from Monte Carlo and Madrid in April.

After a slow start against Paul, in which the world number 17 won the opening four games en route to taking the first set, Scotland’s Murray found his level at the start of the second set and reeled off five successive games.

Paul, a semi-finalist at this year’s Australian Open, got on the board but Murray levelled the match on his first set point and picked up where he left off in the decider, immediately breaking his opponent’s serve.

He missed out on the opportunity to go 3-0 up by failing to convert two break points, and later saw another go begging before he finally broke 25-year-old Paul again in what turned out to be the penultimate game, before serving out the match.

Victory means Murray will rise to 42 in the world when the rankings are updated on Monday – his highest world ranking since May 2018.

His win over Paul marks his third victory over a top-20 player this year, after beating Matteo Berrettini in the first of his enthralling battles at the Australian Open in January, and Alexander Zverev in Doha in February.

The French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, starts on 28 May with Murray aiming to play in it for only the second time since 2017.

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