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Andy Murray ends four-year title drought in Aix-en-Provence Challenger event

Andy Murray ends four-year title drought in Aix-en-Provence Challenger event
© Reuters
Great Britain's Andy Murray ends a four-year drought without an ATP title with a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win over Tommy Paul in the final of the Aix-en-Provence Challenger event.

Former world number one Andy Murray clinched his first ATP title in four years with a three-set win over the USA's Tommy Paul in the Aix-en-Provence Challenger event.

The three-time Grand Slam winner recovered from a slow start to prevail 2-6 6-1 6-2 over the American in one hour and 54 minutes to clinch his first crown since the 2019 European Open in Antwerp.

"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," Murray said on the court.

"The most important part of this week [was] the fans who came out to support. The atmosphere from the very first match right to the end was incredible.

"It's so important for these tournaments to have the support of the local community and you guys came out even before the tournament started. [During] the practice sessions, you were out here watching and supporting. It means a lot to the players, but it's so important to this event as well."

Murray, whose runs at the Monte Carlo Masters and Madrid Open came to an end in the first round, was immediately on the back foot against Paul, who earned a quick double break for a 3-0 lead in the first set.

However, the 35-year-old served the American a dose of his own medicine in the second set, winning five games on the bounce and vastly improving his second-serve win percentage to level the match.

Picking up where he left off in the second set, Murray broke Paul's serve in the opening game of the deciding third set, and the American survived a nervy third game, posting two double faults and saving two break points to get on the board.

Murray remained undeterred in his service games with a pair of love holds before breaking again for a 5-2 lead, and the Briton cruised through a final hold to 15 to power his way to the trophy, advancing to 42nd in the ATP rankings in the process.

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