Andy Murray has lifted his first piece of silverware in four years with a 2-6 6-1 6-2 comeback win over Tommy Paul in Sunday’s Open du Pays d’Aix final.
The three-time major champion decided to drop down a level to play at the ATP Challenger event in France this week after his first-round exit at the Madrid Open.
Murray went into the tournament having equalled his worst-ever career run but his impressive victory over top-seed Paul means he will return to the world top 50.
Paul, an Australian Open semi-finalist in January, was the strong favourite to win the final, with the American currently 35 places above Murray in the ATP rankings.
But Murray, 35, who plays with a metal hip after career-saving surgery, rolled back the years to register his first title since October 2019 when he won the European Open in Belgium.
It is the first clay-court trophy Murray has picked up since the 2016 Italian Open in a huge boost to the British star ahead of the second Grand Slam of the year at the French Open, which gets started at the end of May.
Murray was seeded fifth at the Open du Pays d’Aix and beat four French players en route to the final, including an opening win over fellow tennis veteran Gael Monfils.
What. A. Week. ð
Andy Murray scores his third Top 20 win of 2023 to claim the title in Aix-en-Provence #ATPChallenger | @OpenduPaysdAix pic.twitter.com/PtkTfJssuv
He then defeated Laurent Lokoli, Luca Van Assche and Harold Mayot and only dropped one set across his four matches heading into Sunday’s final.
Despite losing the first set against world No.17 Paul on Sunday, two-time Wimbledon winner Murray roared back to claim the next two in dominant fashion as he ended his four-year wait for a trophy.
Murray had lost his last four singles finals heading into Sunday’s battle, which came at the Biella Challenger Indoor in 2021, the Sydney International and Stuttgart Open in 2022 and the Qatar Open earlier this year in February.
But he can now put those results behind him and look to add more silverware as he continues to defy the doctors who told him he would not be able to play professional tennis again due to his hip problems.
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