Andy Murray Beats Stan Wawrinka to Win 2019 European Open Final

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

British Andy Murray pictured in action during a tennis game against Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, the final of the men's singles tournament at the European Open ATP Antwerp, Sunday 20 October 2019 in Antwerp. This year's edition of the tournament is taking place from 14 to 20 October. BELGA PHOTO JOHN THYS (Photo by JOHN THYS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)
JOHN THYS/Getty Images

Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Antwerp, Belgium, on Sunday to win the 2019 European Open and claim his first ATP title since winning the Dubai Championships as the then-world No. 1 back in 2017.

Murray rallied from a set down and 3-1 adrift in the second to force a decider. The Scot took a 5-4 lead then broke Wawrinka's serve in the decisive game.

Victory at the Lotto Arena has also completed a remarkable comeback for Murray after the 32-year-old needed hip surgery to save his career earlier this year.

Wawrinka jumped into a 3-0 lead thanks in part to holding serve when Murray hit a backhand too long. Crafty work at the net then helped Wawrinka take the third game.

Murray was struggling to find his range, but Wawrinka was controlling the match with his varied backhands:

Facing an uphill battle early, Murray needed to respond and did so brilliantly with a deft drop shot to get on the board. It looked like a foothold for the Scot, but Wawrinka answered back by booming an ace for a 4-1 lead.

To his credit, Murray fought back brilliantly to win two out of the next three games and put Wawrinka under genuine pressure for the first time. The Swiss held firm, though, and closed out the set with another emphatic ace.

Wawrinka's backhand continued to cause Murray problems during the second set, with the former quickly building a 2-1 lead. He was firmly in control after a hold for 3-1, but Wawrinka squandered a trio of break points in the next game, missing twice with forehand shots, to let Murray back in.

Sensing some momentum, Murray broke back for 3-3 before making it a hat-trick of wins after Wawrinka uncharacteristically pushed a backhand too long.

Wawrinka's response was to re-align his forehand to help hold and even the set at 4-4. Yet again though, the Swiss couldn't finish the job when he had two break points in the next game, allowing Murray to hold and put the set in his sights.

Murray promptly seized his chance and pushed the final to a decider.

An early forehand-inspired break helped Wawrinka go 2-1 in front before Murray responded in kind to even things.

Wawrinka broke to love to regain the lead, but nobody wanted to hold serve, and Murray was back in it after a few misplaced Wawrinka backhands. A hold finally came when Murray defended brilliantly at the net to fend off Wawrinka and take his first lead in the decider.

It was 4-4 when Murray saved a couple of break points by hitting a wide, arcing serve for deuce then completing the hold to leave Wawrinka serving for the match.

The game went to deuce three times before a Wawrinka backhand found only the net to seal Murray's triumph.

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