Aix-En-Provence: Andy Murray tops Tommy Paul and lifts trophy

Andy Murray claimed his third Challenger title in France, the first since Binghampton in 2005

by Jovica Ilic
Aix-En-Provence: Andy Murray tops Tommy Paul and lifts trophy

Andy Murray claimed a strong Challenger 175 Aix-En-Provence event in France, claiming his third Challenger title and the first since Binghampton in August 2005! The veteran, who turns 36 next week, went to France following an early Madrid Masters loss and defeated five rivals to lift the trophy and add 175 ATP points to his tally.

Andy faced Tommy Paul in the title clash and scored a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 54 minutes, wrapping up a perfect week at his first clay-court Challenger since Dresden in May 2005! Paul, the top seed and a top-20 player, made an ideal start and looked good to seal the deal in straight sets.

However, Murray made a fresh start in set number two and left the rival behind with a rock-solid performance that carried him over the top. The Briton served at 48% but drew the most from that. He defended his second serve nicely and got broke two times from three chances offered to the American.

Andy Murray conquered his first Challenger title since 2005.

Paul created no break chance after the opening set and could not follow that pace in his service games to settle for the runner-up prize. Tommy broke at 15 in the encounter's first game and grabbed another return game at love at 2-0 for a massive advantage in no time.

The American produced another fine hold in game four, taking 16 of the opening 19 points for a perfect start. Both players served well in the remaining games, and Paul held at 15 in game eight with a service winner for 6-2 in half an hour.

Murray raised his level after those two breaks he suffered, serving well in set number two and keeping the pressure on the other side. The veteran defended nicely and drew the rival's forehand error in the second game to open his first advantage.

Andy moved 3-0 up with a service winner and grabbed another return game a few minutes later after Tommy's loose forehand. Murray served for the set at 5-1 and landed a service winner to wrap it up and force a decider. The Briton served well again, and the American crumbled under pressure, with nothing working his way from set number two.

Andy broke at the start of the set and missed two more break points in game three. Paul saved a break point in game five to remain in touch and served at 2-4. Murray broke again to open a 5-2 advantage and held at 15 in game eight after the rival's loose backhand to celebrate the title.

Andy Murray Tommy Paul