Andy Murray wins first title since 2019 with victory over Tommy Paul in Aix-en-Provence


Andy Murray is back in the winner’s circle for the first time since 2019 after the Scot beat world No. 17 Tommy Paul 2-6 6-1 6-2 in the final of the ATP Challenger event at Aix en Provence.

Victory in the second-tier event, one rung below the main ATP Tour, puts Murray back in the world top 50 and gives the three-time champion some much-needed confidence for this month’s French Open after defeats at the first round at the Madrid Open and Monte Carlo Masters.

“The last year, 18 months, has been a bit difficult with my game, but [my team] were there to support me and work with me to try to improve,” Murray told ATP.

“We continue from here.”

As well as winning his first title since Antwerp in 2019, it was also Murray’s first title on clay since the Rome Masters 1000 title in 2016 and lifted him to 42nd in the world, his highest ranking in five years.

A week shy of his 36th birthday and playing with a metal hip, Murray has now recorded three wins against the top 20 this year as he battles to find form and consistency ahead of Roland Garros, which begins on May 22.

The former world No. 1 returned to the courts for the first time in June 2018 after undergoing a first hip operation in January of the same year, before undergoing a second hip operation in 2019.

Although it’s on the ATP Challenger Tour, this win will no doubt be sweet for Murray, who in 2019 broke down in tears ahead of the Australian Open as he announced his intention to retire that year. due to continued struggles with his hip.

While Murray has shown glimpses of his old self since returning – most notably during his run to the third round of the Australian Open in January after two grueling five-set marathons – he hasn’t been able to always find his best form.

However, with no points to defend at the Rome Masters or French Open, another deep run will propel Murray even further up the standings.


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