MX23RW : Thursday, December 3 10:44:15| >> :600:35483071:35483071:

Result: Murray battles past French youngster Humbert to reach European Open final

Result: Murray battles past French youngster Humbert to reach European Open final
© Reuters
The Scot will be aiming to lift his first ATP Tour title since 2017 when he takes on Stan Wawrinka.

Andy Murray stayed on course for his first ATP Tour title since 2017 by beating Ugo Humbert in three tough sets at the European Open in Antwerp.

Murray was forced to call on all his reserves at times against a French opponent 11 years his junior before prevailing 3-6 7-5 6-2 in just over two-and-a-half hours.

The three-time grand slam champion, still on the road to full recovery following career-saving hip surgery in January, now faces old foe Stan Wawrinka in Sunday's final in what will be his fourth match in as many days.

Murray's clash with Humbert, 21, was his first semi-final since the 2017 French Open, when he lost to Wawrinka.

"It's been a long road to get back to this point," Murray, 32, told Amazon Prime. "I certainly didn't expect it to come so soon since I started playing again.

"It's been a big surprise to me and I'm happy to be through to the final."

The Scot added: "Stan's a brilliant player. We've played against each other in some big matches in the past in big tournaments.

"He's had his injury troubles as well the last couple of years and done great to get back to the top of the game.

"It was actually my match with him at the French Open in 2017 when my hip problems really started.

"It was a tough five-set match in the semis and my hip never really recovered from that, so it's cool to be back playing against him in a final."

Murray spurned two break points at 2-2 in the first set and was made to pay when he was broken in his next service game to trail 4-2 before Humbert served out to clinch the first set 6-3 after 41 minutes.

Murray broke Humbert to lead 3-1 in the second and was pegged back to 3-3 and 5-5, when the two-time Wimbledon winner began to flex his elbow, which was feeling the effects of a hectic schedule.

The Scot edged 6-5 in front and in the decisive game he pounced when Humbert faltered.

Two wayward forehands helped hand Murray three break points and he converted the third as the Frenchman double-faulted to take the set 7-5 and level the match.

Murray dug deep to take the opening game of the deciding set after saving three break points, and went on to make it five games in a row as he opened up a 3-0 lead in the decider.

He dictated more of the rallies as Humbert lost his way and moved 4-1 and 5-2 ahead before taking the contest on the first of two match points.

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Johanna Konta of Great Britain celebrates her win over Shuai Zhang of China in the third round on day five of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 30, 2019
Read Next:
Johanna Konta calls premature end to season after knee injury
Latest Sports Video

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!