The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Andy Murray king of Queen’s once again.
Scot impressive as he sees off Anderson to land fourth Queen’s title
Andy Murray can certainly take inspiration from his efforts against Kevin Anderson in yesterday’s Aegon Championship final as he prepares for another shot at Wimbledon glory.
It was the world No 3’s 34th tour title, on the occasion of his 50th final, but it was the comprehensive fashion in which he succeeded that will make people take notice, particularly after spending the morning applying the finishing touches to a 6-3 7-6 (7/4) semi-final win over Viktor Troicki.
He achieved victory in minimalist fashion, one break of serve in each set, but the variety of winners and clinical way he worked over the big-serving South African was impressive.
Murray made a confident start, serving out the first game without trouble only for Anderson to respond in kind, including two trademark aces.
Murray slipped at 30-30, briefly clutching his right thigh but no damage was done.
The Scot held a second service game before making his move, taking a 3-1 lead with the first break of the match.
Anderson repeatedly saw his mighty serves coming back at him and could not match his opponent in open play.
At break point Murray somehow returned a booming 141mph serve, albeit leaving Anderson a relatively simple smash.
The South African instead drilled straight into the net.
Murray eased his advantage to 4-1, losing just one point to a failed drop shot and sealing it with a fine cross-court forehand, and saw the set out with minimal fuss. The two eased through a pair of one-sided service games, Anderson recording his 100th ace of the tournament in the process, before Murray settled a 6-3 success with a sliced backhand worthy of the moment.
Anderson was being outmanoeuvred by Murray but had at least settled into a groove on serve, beginning the second set with a pair of comprehensive holds.
He was making no inroads on Murray’s games, though, winning the first point of the fourth game only to concede the next four.
There was no such mistake from Murray when the chance arose, breaking Anderson for a second time to go 3-2 ahead.
It was here Murray showed his class, winning the closest the two had come to a flowing rally, hitting a sumptuous return winner next up then pairing a delicate lob with a neat drop shot at break point.
The crowd were getting their money’s worth from Murray, who was not allowing Anderson a look in.
At one stage Anderson had the upper hand for the duration of an entertaining rally only for the latter to land a desperate lob on the base line then produce a magnificent winner on the run.
The score moved to 5-4, allowing Murray to serve for the game.
The Briton mustered a big serve to seal the match, Anderson just managing to make contact but unable to make Murray play again.
Rather than tiring him out, the early exertion in seeing off Troicki seemed to warm Murray up for the main event and he stood firm against Anderson’s powerful serve, breaking once in each set while never surrendering his own.
“When you’re playing a match you’re trying to focus on the next point, not thinking about how you’ve played or haven’t played,” explained the Scot.
“I’m often very critical off myself on the court. But obviously I came up with some great shots when I needed them.
“Kevin’s had a fantastic week and he’s playing some great tennis so I had to play that way if I wanted to win.”
As for joining the ranks of the fourtime champions at Queen’s, Murray confessed a personal bond with the event.
“I love the tournament here. It’s where I won my first match at 18 as a wildcard,” he said.
“I love the court and I love the club.”
I’m often very critical of myself on the court. But obviously I came up with some great shots when I needed them.