Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Andy Murray beats Stan Wawrinka in European Open final to win first tournament since hip surgery

Emotional Scot in tears after fighting back from one set down to seal Antwerp victory 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

Andy Murray reacts after scoring a point against Stan Wawrinka in Antwerp on Sunda. AP
Andy Murray reacts after scoring a point against Stan Wawrinka in Antwerp on Sunda. AP

Andy Murray broke down in tears on Sunday after beating Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win the European Open final in Antwerp.

Both men were seeking a first ATP Tour title since before serious injury problems struck, with the Scot taking part in his first final less than nine months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

Murray, playing in just his seventh tournament since returning to singles action, last won a title when he beat Fernando Verdaso at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in March 2017.

Murray said: "Obviously it means a lot, the last few years have been extremely difficult, both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems the last couple of years.

"It's amazing to be back playing him in a final. I think it was a great match, Stan was playing unbelievable, hitting winners from all over the court.

"I just managed to hang in a bit at the end of the second set and the third set was extremely close again. I didn't expect to be in this position so I'm very happy.

"This is one of the biggest wins that I've had after everything so I'm very proud."

Wawrinka drew first blood by taking the opening set. The crucial break of serve came in the second game, with Murray saving two break points but not a third, and the Swiss served it out 6-3.

Murray looked in deep trouble when Wawrinka broke again in the third game of the second set, and the Scot had to save more break points to avoid losing a fourth game in a row.

But, having dug in, he got his reward as Wawrinka's serve went off the boil and his level dipped, with Murray breaking back to 3-3.

Wawrinka had two more chances at 4-4 but again Murray fought off the danger and remarkably it was Murray who then took his first set point to clinch it 6-4 and level the match.

The Swiss stepped up again early in the third set and was twice a break ahead but once more Murray dug in, hitting back immediately both times.

Murray saved two more break points at 4-4 to leave Wawrinka serving to stay in the match, and when the Swiss blazed a forehand well off target on Murray's first match point, it was the former world No 1 celebrating a hard-fought victory.

Fellow grand slam champion Wawrinka said: "The tennis world, including me, was really sad in Australia after that press conference [in January, when Murray said he might have to quit tennis due to his hip problem].

"To see you back at this level, it's amazing. We're all really happy. I'm sad I lost today but I'm really happy to see you back.

"You're an amazing champion and you deserve that. I've lost today but in general, it was a great week."

Stan Wawrinka said the tennis world was glad to have Andy Murray back after Sunday's final. AP
Stan Wawrinka said the tennis world was glad to have Andy Murray back after Sunday's final. AP

Updated: October 20, 2019 09:42 PM

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