(CNN) Andy Murray The Scot is back in the winner’s circle for the first time since 2019 after defeating world number 17 Tommy Paul 2-6 6-1 6-2 in the final of the ATP Challenger event in Aix-en-Provence.
Victory in the secondary event was one step below the main ATP Touris moving Murray Re-entering the world’s top 50 gives the three-time grand champion some much-needed confidence heading into this month’s French Open following first-round defeats at the Madrid Open and Monte-Carlo Masters.
„Last year, 18 months, my game was a bit of a struggle, but [my team] Support me and work with me and try to do better,” Murray told ATP.
„We’re getting out of here.”
It was Murray’s first clay-court title since the Rome Masters 1000 title in 2016, his first since Antwerp in 2019, and lifted him to world No. 42, his highest ranking in five years.
A week from his 36th birthday, playing with a metal hip, Murray has recorded three wins over the top 20 players this year as he looks to find form and consistency ahead of the French Open, which starts on May 22.
Before undergoing a second hip operation in 2019, the former world no. 1 The first person returned to court in June 2018.
Despite being on the ATP Challenger Tour, the win will be sweet for Murray, who was on a tear ahead of the 2019 Australian Open.
Murray has shown glimpses of his old self since his return — particularly after two grueling five-set marathons to the third round of the Australian Open in January — but he has been unable to consistently find his best form.
However, with no points to defend at the Rome Masters or the French Open, another deep run could see Murray move further up the rankings.
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