Murray crowned king of Queen's Club
LONDON, England (AFP) — Andy Murray was crowned king of Queen's Club for the third time as the world number two roared back to defeat defending champion Marin Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in yesterday's final.
Murray was pushed hard by the Croatian fifth seed, but the US Open champion responded to the challenge with the kind of classy display that bodes well with Wimbledon just eight days away.
He picked up a cheque for £73,315 (86,300 euros) for his latest triumph at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event, but more importantly his dominant week's work served as the perfect preparation ahead of his latest bid to end Britain's long wait for a male winner of the singles' title at the All England Club.
The 26-year-old's third successful Queen's campaign in five years, following previous victories in 2009 and 2011, took his career haul of ATP Tour titles to 27 and ended his wait for a first tournament win since the Miami Masters in March.
However, Murray, who started the week concerned by his fitness after a lower back injury forced him to miss the French Open, will hope a first set tumble that left him briefly clutching his groin in pain proves nothing serious.
Murray has dominated on grass over the last year, reaching his first Wimbledon final and taking the gold medal in the London Olympics at the All England Club by thrashing Roger Federer.
He had also won eight of his previous nine meetings with Cilic and looked unfazed by the rain-delayed start when play finally got underway three hours later than scheduled.
Setting the tempo from the baseline, Murray cleverly pushed the world number 12 out of position as he drove a blistering forehand to break in the second game.
However, the Scot wasn't able to make the most of his early momentum.
Cilic was going for the lines to good effect and he broke when a forehand from the Scot smashed into the net on the third break point of a pivotal game at 4-2.
The situation looked even bleaker for Murray when he screamed in anguish after falling as he went to change direction after being wrong-footed by a Cilic winner on break point on the Croat's serve in the next game.
He lay in obvious discomfort on the grass for several moments and held his groin before finally playing on.
Murray seemed fairly untroubled by the injury once he resumed but he had greater difficulty subduing Cilic.