ATP Antwerp: Everlasting Andy Murray wins emotional title against Wawrinka

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ATP Antwerp: Everlasting Andy Murray wins emotional title against Wawrinka

Back in January, the three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray almost ended his career, with the hip pain being too strong to allow him serious matches and efforts. Eager to extend career, Andy underwent the second surgery and started competing again in June, conquering the doubles crown at Queen's and making first steps on the singles court.

It didn't look well in the early encounters but there were some promising signs in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai, with Andy heading back to Europe to wrap up the season in Antwerp and start preparations for 2020. The Briton will spend the offseason with an extra boost after conquering the 46th ATP title in Belgium, defeating Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 27 minutes for the first ATP trophy since Dubai 2017.

It was the 20th meeting between three-time Major winners and the 12th victory for Andy despite winning three points less than Stan. Murray repelled eight out of 12 break chances and grabbed five breaks from ten opportunities, trailing 6-3, 3-1 and being a break down twice in the decider to pass all the obstacles and cross the finish line first for an emotional celebration of one of the most significant victories of his career.

Stan drew first blood in the second game when he grabbed a break with a backhand winner, saving break chances in the next game and serving well in the remaining games to claim it 6-3 with a service winner. With the momentum on his side, the Swiss landed a perfect backhand winner in the third game of the second set to forge the advantage, earning two more break chances in game five.

As it turned out, he should have converted those as Murray got out of jail and pulled the break back in the very next game to level the score at 3-3. Facing another big task behind the initial serve, Andy survived two break opportunities at 4-4 after a successful challenge, gathering a massive momentum and sealing the set a few minutes later after forcing an error from Stan in the tenth game, sending the clash into a decider.

There, they traded four straight breaks from 1-1, with Wawrinka wasting a break lead twice and probably crucial break chances at 4-4 that allowed Andy to move 5-4 up. Serving to stay in the match, Stan spent four game points and sprayed a forehand mistake on the first match point that propelled Andy over the top after an incredible battle.