(Reuters) – Andy Murray claimed his first ATP title for two-and-a-half years as he beat Stan Wawrinka in an engrossing duel in the European Open final in Antwerp on Sunday.
Former world number one Murray, who had hip re-surfacing surgery in January in a bid to salvage his career, battled back from a set and a break down to win 3-6 6-4 6-4.
In the first final between the pair for 11 years it was 34-year-old Wawrinka, who has also had injury problems, who appeared on course for victory when he had points for a double break in the second set, having powered through the first.
But Murray, 32, who seemed set for retirement after losing at this year’s Australian Open, showed his old fighting qualities and no sign of any physical problems as he roared back to claim a 46th career title.
The deciding set was littered with service breaks but Murray crucially saved break points at 4-4 and then pounced when Wawrinka served in the next game, sealing the title as his tiring Swiss opponent blazed a forehand wide.
“It’s amazing to be back playing against Stan in a final like that, he was playing unbelievable,” Murray, who appeared close to tears at the end, said on court.
“I never expected to be in this position so I’m very happy.”
Murray’s last title came in Dubai in March 2017 when he was still the top-ranked player in the world.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Clare Lovell)