Andy Murray earns Father's Day surprise after Nottingham title win but is handed tough draw for Queen’s opener
Murray, who had not dropped a set on his way to the final in Nottingham, saw off the spirited challenge of French qualifier Arthur Cazaux to prevail 6-4 6-4, and make it ten grass court wins in a row after his Surbiton Trophy victory a week ago.
Victory would have been sweet for the 36-year-old but perhaps nothing made his day more than when he realised during his on-court speech that wife Kim and their four children had made the trip to Nottingham to watch him play.
“I had no idea they were coming,” revealed Murray, who had been discussing returning home to visit his children that night at the time.
“They came last week to the final of Surbiton, and they turned up and it started raining. They had to go home for the kid’s bedtime, so they missed the end of the match. It’s great they were able to come today.
“My family have been unbelievably supportive with me continuing my career, when they could have told me to stop, so I really appreciate them still supporting me and trying to get me to keep going.”
Murray was a significant favourite for the final against Cazaux, who was playing the first grass court event of his professional career.
And the two-time Wimbledon winner showed his class and skill on the surface early on, easing into a 5-2 double break lead, though Cazaux did force the Brit to have to close the set out at the second time of asking.
And the Frenchman certainly looked more at home in the second set, though Murray sealed the decisive break at 4-4 and held to love to close out victory and claim a fifth career Challenger Tour title.
He added: “It’s been a really good week, I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The courts were playing brilliantly, so a big thank you to the ground staff.
“I played really well and got better as the week went on. It was quite a physical match today with lots of long rallies. I’m glad to get through - onto Queen’s we go.”
Back-to-back titles in Surbiton and Nottingham - dropping just one set along the way - justifies his decision to skip the French Open, but sterner tests now await.
The former world No.1 and three-time Grand Slam winner will now head south to the Queen’s Club, where he’ll look to continue his quest to be seeded at Wimbledon.
Murray has made no secret of his ambition to be seeded at Wimbledon, and he will need a good run on his return to the ATP Tour at Queen’s to do just that.
The five-time Queen’s champion is unseeded in West London this year and has been dealt a tough hand with his draw, with seventh seed Alex de Minaur waiting in the opening round.
Australian de Minaur has won all three previous meetings between the two - including a one-sided match at the Monte-Carlo Masters earlier this season - and is also a solid grass courter.
The world No.18 reached the fourth round of Wimbledon a year ago and also won the title at Eastbourne in 2022, as well as being a regular at the Queen’s Club in recent seasons.
For the latest action on the British summer grass court season, check out the LTA website
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