Murray overcomes Paul for first title since 2019


Andy Murray bounced back to beat world No. 17 Tommy Paul 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Sunday in the Aix-en-Provence Challenger Tour final, earning his first title at any level since 2019.

The three-time major winner converted four of nine breakpoints to claim his first clay title since 2016, a boost for the 35-year-old who said he hoped to play the French Open later this month despite suffering early exits from Madrid and Monaco.

It was Murray’s third victory over a top-20 player this year and the twice Olympic gold medallist is expected to climb from 52nd to 42nd in the rankings after Sunday’s win.

“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. “We keep going from here.”

Paul, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals in January, stumbled into a trio of double faults and was unable to set up a single breakpoint opportunity in the final two sets.

The Challenger Tour said Murray’s win marked the longest gap ever between titles on the secondary circuit, with Murray having last won more than 17 years ago in Binghampton.

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