EMOTIONAL British No1 Andy Murray admitted needing a large slice of luck yesterday after a gritty victory at the Shenzhen Open landed his first title since last year’s landmark Wimbledon triumph.
Murray had to save five match points in a second set tie-break before overcoming Spain’s Tommy Robredo 5-7, 7-6 (11-9), 6-1 in the final of the low-key tournament in China – and breaking down in tears.
It ended a 14-month drought for Murray, who has struggled to recapture his grand slam-winning form since undergoing back surgery last year and changing coaches from Ivan Lendl to Amelie Mauresmo.
Victory is also a timely boost to the Scot’s rankings, as he chases points needed to qualify for November’s season-ending ATP World Tour Finals event at London’s O2.
“I got lucky, basically, at the end of the second set. I fought hard, tried my best and thankfully managed to turn it round,” said Murray, who is now 10th in the race for the Tour Finals, with the season’s top eight players qualifying.
“Today was obviously an incredibly tough match, the conditions are so hard to play in. Tommy had a great tournament. He probably deserved to win the match today. He had the opportunities in the second set, but sometimes that happens in sport. I just tried to fight till the end.”
Murray, 27, will remain in the country for this week’s China Open and next month’s Shanghai Masters.
Fellow Briton Heather Watson suffered an early exit from the former tournament yesterday, however, when she was beaten 6-3, 6-1 by 16th seed Venus Williams.
Watson, 22, led 3-0 but lost 11 straight games as she succumbed to an immediate elimination in her fourth consecutive event. Williams, 34, faces 12th seed Ekaterina Makarova in round two.