Andy Murray defeated American Tommy Paul in a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 fightback on Sunday at the Aix en Provence Challenger to win his first title since 2019.
The Scot who turns 36 on May 15, last won a trophy in Antwerp on the Tour when he got truly stuck into his comeback from half a decade of hip surgeries and the ensuing rehab.
The former No. 1 last tasted title success on clay – one of just three in his career – in 2016 at the Rome Masters
He will rank well inside the Top 50 on 42nd in Monday’s rankings with the French Open approaching in three weeks. Future progress will be a huge help in ranking high enough to get a seeding at Wimbledon.
Murray took two hours to claim the trophy as he broke Paul four times from nine chances.
“This last year, 18 months, has been a bit of a struggle with my game,” the three-time Grand Slam champion said.
“But (his team) [have been there supporting me and working with me to try and get better. We keep going from here.”
Murray credited French crowd support in the sunny south for helping him all week as he stepped down a level to get some clay matches after a pair of first-round clay losses in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
“The atmosphere from the very first match right to the end was incredible. It’s so important for these tournaments to have the support of the local community and you guys came out even before the tournament started,” the Scot said.
“(During) practice sessions, you were out here watching and supporting. It means a lot to the players, but it’s so important to this event as well.”
The veteran dropped the opening set in half an hour but then won eight of the next nine games before closing out victory in the deciding set.
Murray must now decide whether to cash in his chips or go ahead with an entry in a similar clay Challenger in Bordeaux starting on Monday.
Aix was his second final of the season after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the Doha title match in February.
Main photo:- Andy Murray celebrates victory in Aix en Provence by ATPTour