Andy Murray's tears of despair in Melbourne were swapped for tears of joy in Antwerp after a heart-warming triumph at the European Open.

The three-time grand slam winner overcame Stan Wawrinka in three topsy-turvy sets to win a first ATP Tour title since 2017.

It marks an incredible turnaround for Murray, who at a news conference previewing the Australian Open in January spoke of his fears that his career was coming to an end due to a long-term hip injury, for which he underwent resurfacing surgery after the opening slam of 2019.

Just nine months later and Murray is a singles champion again on the ATP Tour. Here, we look back at an emotional 2019 for the popular Briton.

 

TEARS IN MELBOURNE

Murray broke down in tears when briefing the press ahead of the Australian Open in January after struggling to recover from hip surgery.

"I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that," Murray said ahead of a valiant five-set first-round loss to Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Later that month, Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery.

PAIN FREE AND ARISE SIR ANDY

Six weeks later, Murray sat down with BBC Sport for an interview in which he said he was "pain free" following the procedure, though admitted his chances of playing at Wimbledon were slim.

In May, Murray received the honour of a knighthood at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, saying: "It's a nice day to spend with my family – my wife and parents are here."

HOWDY, PARTNERS! QUEEN'S GLORY 'DELICIANO'

Murray fans were delighted in June when it was announced he would play doubles with Feliciano Lopez – a player once dubbed 'Deliciano' by his mother Judy Murray.

Incredibly, the duo defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram to clinch the title.

SERENA DREAM TEAM AT WIMBLEDON

Murray made headlines without even striking a ball when it was announced he would pair up with Serena Williams for a star-studded mixed-doubles pairing at Wimbledon.

It was a partnership that ended in round three, while Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert were knocked out in round two of the men's doubles.

Murray later teamed up with brother Jamie and again with Lopez to build up his match fitness, before another huge announcement followed.

GOING SOLO IN CINCINNATI

It was a moment he feared might not happen, but in August Murray was back playing singles at the Cincinnati Masters.

A first-round defeat to Richard Gasquet followed but Murray continued to add match minutes and claimed a notable victory over Matteo Berrettini at the China Open, before losing an ill-tempered second-round clash to Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters.

ANDY AWESOME IN ANTWERP

After defeating Kimmer Coppejans and Pablo Cuevas in straight sets at the European Open, Murray needed to dip deep to go the distance in victories over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert.

The fact Murray had made the final of an ATP Tour tournament was a huge achievement in itself and, after dropping the first set to Wawrinka, it looked a tall order to go a step further.

But in a back-and-forth encounter, Murray triumphed 3-6 6-4 6-4 before breaking down in tears courtside.

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy," he said.

Andy Murray surpassed his own expectations after claiming a memorable come-from-behind victory over Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

In January, an emotional Murray stated during a press briefing at the Australian Open that he thought his career might be over due to a long-term hip injury.

The Briton underwent resurfacing surgery but made a return to court in doubles competition at Queen's in June before making a singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.

Just two months on, the tears of despair in Melbourne were replaced by tears of joy as Murray earned a first ATP title win since 2017 after defeating Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

"It means a lot. The past few years have been extremely difficult. Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the past couple of years," Murray said on court. 

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy."

Wawrinka himself was searching for a first Tour title since two surgeries on his left knee in August 2017 and Murray paid tribute to his defeated opponent.

"Stan is a brilliant player. He's won many, many big tournaments. He always plays extremely well in the big matches," Murray said. 

"We know each other's games well. We played many tough matches in the past. I expected another one and that was what I got."

Andy Murray claimed a fairy-tale victory as he rallied to beat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

He sealed his first ATP Tour crown since March 2017 by coming from behind to win a battle lasting two hours and 27 minutes 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

Murray's victory on Sunday capped a remarkable week as he claimed a title in the same year his career had been thrown into major doubt when he underwent hip resurfacing surgery after the Australian Open.

It had looked like he would fall to convincing loss when he dropped serve in the second set and Wawrinka – whose wait for a first title since May 2017 goes on – had two chances to go a double break in front.

But Murray showed his trademark grit to record a tournament win which, while being at ATP 250 level, will undoubtedly go down as one of the sweetest in his storied career.

Murray put his hands to his head in disbelief after sealing victory and broke down in tears as he acknowledged the crowd and took his seat before getting his hands on the trophy.

 

Andrey Rublev celebrated his 22nd birthday in style, inflicting more Moscow woe on Adrian Mannarino to clinch the Kremlin Cup on home soil.

Home favourite Rublev had failed to win a match at the tournament in six previous visits but was a comprehensive 6-4 6-0 victor over Mannarino, who was beaten by Karen Khachanov in last season's showpiece.

Rublev broke at the first time of asking and that proved enough to clinch an otherwise tight opening set.

But it was one-way traffic in the second with Mannarino – who had not dropped a set in reaching the final – fittingly giving his opponent several gifts to capitulate in a match that lasted a little over an hour.

It marks Rublev's second ATP Tour title and he will break into the world's top 25 for the first time on Monday.

Denis Shapovalov landed the first ATP title of a career rich in promise when he fended off Filip Krajinovic in the final of the Stockholm Open.

At the age of 20, Canadian Shapovalov has already briefly cracked the world's top 20, and a 6-4 6-4 victory over Krajinovic saw him pass another major career milestone.

Seeded fourth in Sweden, Shapovalov won four matches without dropping a set, and the left-hander faced only one break point on Sunday.

He edged a narrow opener, helped by nine aces, and grabbed a crucial break in the ninth game of the second set when Krajinovic netted from the baseline.

Shapovalov served out for his first trophy success at main-tour level, with Krajinovic slapping an aggressive backhand into the top of the net on match point.

"We've been working really hard to try and lift an ATP title," said Shapovalov, after thanking his support team. "Now we're here, so thanks to everybody."

It was pointed out to him at the trophy presentation that Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas - both grand slam semi-finalists this year - won their first tour titles at Stockholm, too.

"It's definitely a big step for me," said Shapovalov.

"I've struggled to get past the semi-finals and to lift my first title here in Stockholm out of all places. I love this city so much, it's incredible for me.

"All of the names up there [on the list of past winners] are unbelievable players so hopefully I can back that up as well."

Jelena Ostapenko claimed her first WTA singles title for over two years as she saw off Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open.

Ostapenko was playing in her second final in as many weeks after losing in the Linz showpiece to teenager Coco Gauff.

However, the former French Open champion went one better in Luxembourg, cruising to a 6-4 6-1 win over Goerges.

The championship marks Ostapenko's first since the Korea Open in September 2017, three months after her French Open final triumph over Simona Halep.

Ostapenko needed only one break to take the first set and it came in the ninth game when Goerges fired long, the Latvian then consolidating to wrap up the opener.

Goerges' resistance faded in much shorter order in the second as the German faltered on the forehand side, allowing Ostapenko to race to victory having lost her previous two finals of 2019.

Belinda Bencic came from behind to defeat home favourite Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and claim glory at the Kremlin Cup.

A 3-6 6-1 6-1 victory in one hour and 44 minutes on Sunday earned Bencic a fourth career WTA Tour title and a second of her resurgent 2019.

Bencic booked her place in the WTA Finals in Shenzhen with her semi-final victory over Kristina Mladenovic and capped the week with a Premier title.

It came after a shaky start in which she dropped the opening game on serve and was later broken again en route to losing the first set.

But she struck on Pavlyuchenkova's serve in the first game of the next set to immediately launch her comeback and broke on a further two occasions to level the match.

Bencic, the world number 10, was in control and raced 5-0 up in the decider, converting her first championship point soon after when Pavlyuchenkova smashed a return into the net.

After her poor opening set, the Swiss star did not allow 2014 champion Pavlyuchenkova a single break point in her dominant second and third sets.

"It feels unbelievable right now, I still can't imagine it," said Bencic, who was the third seed in Moscow.

"I had no pressure going into this match. We were so happy on Saturday celebrating Shenzhen and this is the cherry on top."

Belinda Bencic booked her place in the WTA Finals by progressing to the showpiece of the Kremlin Cup, where she will meet home hope Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Bencic needed to beat Kristina Mladenovic to secure her spot in Shenzhen and made no mistake in the 6-3 6-4 defeat of the Frenchwoman.

This week's event in Moscow marked the final opportunity for the Swiss, who has enjoyed a resurgent 2019 having previously dropped out of the top 300 amid injury problems, to reach the season-ending tournament.

Bencic, whose run to the US Open semi-finals was highlighted by a victory over Naomi Osaka, said: "I think tomorrow [Sunday], I'll just be so happy to be in the final and will enjoy it already knowing I'll be in Shenzhen.

"This gives me a great feeling and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow and play even better.

"It means the world to me. Obviously, it was a big goal this season, particularly after I started it so strongly, and having put myself in a position to reach the WTA Finals I'm so happy now to have reached it.

"To do it at the last minute makes it even more emotional. There was lots of pressure today and I was really nervous so I'm just over the moon to somehow have made it to the Finals."

Pavlyuchenkova stands between Bencic and a second title of 2019 after defeating Karolina Muchova 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

Jelena Ostapenko will take on Julia Goerges in the final of the Luxembourg Open, where Coco Gauff enjoyed doubles success alongside Caty McNally, a team dubbed 'McCoco' during the US Open.

Goerges won in straight sets against Elena Rybakina, while Ostapenko came from a set down to beat Anna Blinkova, who knocked out Gauff in the first round.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff was unable to follow up her first WTA singles crown in Linz with a run in Luxembourg, but she claimed her second doubles title alongside fellow American teenager McNally, the pair defeating Kaitlyn Christian and Alexa Guarachi 6-2 6-2.

Andy Murray is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in his first singles final since 2017.

Murray is playing his final tournament of the year, aside from the Davis Cup, in Antwerp as he continues a remarkable comeback from hip resurfacing surgery that was expected to end his career.

The three-time grand slam champion progressed to his first final since March 2017 with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 win over Ugo Humbert.

He will face Wawrinka, who himself tumbled out of the top 250 in 2018 after continued injury issues but is now back in the top 20, in the showpiece on Sunday.

"I am obviously happy to be in the final," said Murray. "I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court… it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.

"I think it will be a nice match to play. Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… it is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.

"It was obviously big for me to get that [6-5] game in the second set, but the game that won me the match was the first game of the third set.

"When I was 0-40 down, I think I played a couple of good points. It was a huge game to get out of. I felt like the momentum was with me once I won that game, I felt like that was what set me on my way."

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov is into his first career ATP final at the Stockholm Open, the 20-year-old overcoming Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2 to set up a meeting with Filip Krajinovic, who got the better of Pablo Carreno Busta over three sets.

At the Kremlin Cup, Andrey Rublev is a win away from his second ATP title after beating former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-5 6-4.

He will face Adrian Mannarino, a 6-3 6-4 victor over Andreas Seppi.

Andy Murray will face Stan Wawrinka in his first ATP Tour singles final since March 2017 after coming from a set down to beat Ugo Humbert at the European Open.

Murray's career was in doubt after he underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January, but the former world number one could add to his title haul on Sunday after a 3-6 7-5 6-2 defeat of Humbert.

The three-time grand slam champion has not featured in a singles championship match since overcoming Fernando Verdasco in Dubai two and a half years ago.

Murray passed another stamina test and showed his strength of character to get past Humbert on Saturday, setting up a mouthwatering decider against fellow multiple major winner Wawrinka.

Humbert secured the first break of the second semi-final to lead 4-2 after fending off two break points in the previous game and served out the opening set to love.

Murray took the upper hand in the second by breaking to lead 3-1 and although he was unable to consolidate as the 21-year-old hit straight back, the Brit broke again to level the match.

Southpaw Humbert saw three break-point opportunities pass him by in the opening game of the final set and was soon up against it at 3-0 down, with Murray going on to put away a simple volley at the net to break again and move into the final.

Fourth seed Wawrinka also came through a battle between youth and experience, seeing off Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-2.

The Swiss, also eyeing a first ATP Tour title since 2017, broke four times to end the 18-year-old's impressive run.

Belinda Bencic clinched a debut appearance at the end-of-season WTA Finals, meaning Serena Williams will miss out.

Swiss star Bencic reached as high as seventh in the world rankings during the 2016 season before slumping outside the top 300, with poor form compounded by injury trouble.

But 22-year-old Bencic has returned to the top 10 since reaching the semi-finals of the US Open in September, beating defending champion Naomi Osaka along the way in New York.

A 6-3 6-4 victory over France's Kristina Mladenovic in the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Saturday made sure of Bencic's appearance in the eight-player WTA Finals.

That lucrative event is the last major tournament of the WTA season and takes place in Shenzhen, China, from October 27 to November 3.

Bencic becomes the last player to secure a place, joining Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina, Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova and Bianca Andreescu.

She nudged ahead of Williams in the Race to Shenzhen to deny the American a place in the elite field for the upcoming tournament that carries prize money of $14million.

Williams has been inactive since the US Open and is unlikely to be perturbed by missing the WTA Finals.

Bencic said in an on-court interview: "I'm so happy I reached the top eight. It was a huge goal for me this season and so last-minute.

"I was so nervous before the match, but also reaching the final here [in Moscow] tomorrow is amazing. I'm so happy."

Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour singles semi-final for over two years by rolling up his sleeves to overcome Marius Copil in the European Open on Friday.

The three-time grand slam champion's persistence paid off as he battled past Copil with a 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 victory in Antwerp.

Murray squandered a 4-1 lead in a second set he lost after holding the same advantage in a tie-break, with Copil saving a match point. 

The Brit was not to be denied a place in the last four, winning what was his second quarter-final since returning from hip resurfacing surgery after claiming the only break of the final set.

Ugo Humbert stands in the way of Murray and a place in the final after coming from a set down to beat Guido Pella 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka outlasted Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 and will face Jannik Sinner, who became the youngest ATP semi-finalist since 2014 when he got past Frances Tiafoe 6-4 3-6 6-3.

There will be no back-to-back Kremlin Cup triumphs for Karen Khachanov in his homeland after Andreas Seppi beat the defending champion 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Seppi has reached at least the quarter-finals in his past six appearances in Moscow and will face Adrian Mannarino - a straight-sets winner against Dusan Lajovic - for a place in the final after claiming the scalp of the second seed.

Marin Cilic took out Jeremy Chardy 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) and will go up against Andrey Rublev, who saw the back of Nikola Milojevic 6-2 6-3.

There will be no dream swansong for Janko Tipsarevic at the Stockholm Open after Yuichi Sugita ended the Serbian's career with a 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) triumph, booking a semi-final showdown with Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov eased to a 6-0 6-3 defeat of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, while Pablo Carreno Busta beat Sam Querrey and will face Filip Krajinovic - conqueror of Yoshihito Nishioka.

Kiki Bertens look set to miss out on the WTA Finals following a Kremlin Cup quarter-final defeat to Kristina Mladenovic, which left the door open for Belinda Bencic to make her Shenzhen debut.

Bertens missed out on a place in the last four in Moscow when she was beaten 6-4 2-6 6-1 by the unseeded Mladenovic.

The second seed will require a withdrawal to feature in the season-ending tournament in China after failing to climb above the eighth-placed Serena Williams in the standings.

Mladenovic mixed up her game with skill and intelligence and faces a semi-final showdown with Bencic next.

Bencic will move ahead of both Bertens and Williams to grab a Shenzhen spot if she records one more win following a 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 result against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens on Friday.

The Swiss third seed, who has never played in the WTA Finals, drew on her fighting spirit to come from 4-1 down in the opening set and edged a tie-break after saving two set points, then dominated the second set.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Karolina Muchova will contest the other semi-final after getting the better of Veronika Kudermetova and Ekaterina Alexandrova respectively.

Meanwhile, defending champion Julia Goerges rallied from a set down to beat Monica Puig 1-6 6-2 6-3 and reach the last four of the Luxembourg Open.

The German will take on Elena Rybakina, a 6-0 6-4 winner against Laura Siegemund, while Jelena Ostapenko and Anna Blinkova will also do battle for a place in the final.

 

 

Andy Murray moved into the quarter-finals by beating Pablo Cuevas after the top three seeds crashed out of the European Open, while Fabio Fognini was dumped out in Stockholm on Thursday.

Murray produced another encouraging performance in Antwerp, reaching the last eight of a singles tournament for the second time since returning to the ATP Tour following a hip resurfacing operation in January.

The former world number one saw off eighth seed Cuevas 6-4 6-3 after saving all four break points he faced, winning 82 per cent of points on his first serve and 74 per cent behind his second.

Murrray started strongly and dominated from the back of the court, finishing Cuevas off with back-to-back aces to ensure he will take on Marius Copil.

Copil ousted Diego Schwartzman 6-4 5-7 7-6 (9-7), while top seed Gael Monfils went down 6-3 6-2 to 18-year-old Italian outsider Jannik Sinner and David Goffin, the second seed, was thumped 6-3 6-1 by Ugo Humbert in his homeland.

Jan-Lennard Struff was another seed to fall in the second round, losing 6-3 6-4 to Frances Tiafoe.

Janko Tipsarevic's retirement will have to wait until another day after he hammered ATP Finals contender Fognini 6-1 6-1 to move into the quarter-finals of the Stockholm Open.

Tipsarevic lost just four points on his first serve and will take on lucky loser Yuichi Sugita, who beat Stefano Travaglia in straight sets.

Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov got the better of Alexei Popyrin 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the Swedish capital, with Pablo Carreno Busta and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe also victorious.

Marin Cilic beat fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-1 7-6 (7-5) to book a Kremlin Cup quarter-final showdown with Jeremy Chardy, who came out on top against Miomir Kecmanovic.

Andrey Rublev and lucky loser Nikola Milojevic came through their second-round matches versus Egor Gerasimov and Alen Avidzba respectively in Moscow.

Veronika Kudermetova upset top seed Elina Svitolina in the second round of the Kremlin Cup and Jelena Ostapenko fought back to knock Elise Mertens out of the Luxembourg Open on Thursday.

Kudermetova came out on top in her first match against a top-five opponent, defeating Svitolina 6-1 2-6 7-5 in Moscow.

The 22-year-old Russian wrapped up the opening set in only 28 minutes and came from 2-0 down in the decider to move into the quarter-finals.

Kudermetova's attacking approach paid off, world number four Svitolina showing resolve in the final set but missing out on a last-eight showdown with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Second seed Kiki Bertens advanced with 4-6 6-3 7-5 victory over Kaia Kanepi, while Pavlyuchenkova won an all-Russian contest with Varvara Gracheva 5-7 6-4 6-2.

Kristina Mladenovic will face Bertens after battling her way past sixth seed Anastasija Sevastova 7-5 3-6 6-3.

The top seed also bowed out Luxembourg, with Ostapenko digging deep to see off Mertens 4-6 6-2 6-2.

Ostapenko, runner-up to Coco Gauff at the Linz Open last weekend, will now come up against Antonia Lottner, who went through when Andrea Petkovic retired with a knee injury after losing the first set 6-1.

Defending champion Julie Goerges saw off Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-4 6-4, while Anna Blinkova and Monica Puig also made it through, defeating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (8-6). 

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