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Andy Murray mulling over singles return at US Open

 

Double top: Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez pose with the trophy after their win in the men’s doubles final yesterday
Double top: Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez pose with the trophy after their win in the men’s doubles final yesterday

By Andy Sims

Andy Murray has left the door open for a potential return to singles at the US Open in August.

Murray completed a remarkable comeback from career-saving hip surgery just five months ago with victory in the doubles at Queen's Club alongside Feliciano Lopez.

Prior to the Fever-Tree Championships, the two-time Wimbledon champion suggested he would keep faith with doubles until after the Grand Slam in New York, which starts at the end of August.

But following a successful and, crucially, pain-free week in west London, Murray will have a rethink.

"If I keep progressing, I would like to try to play singles," he said after his first title win in over two years.

"I think I have a couple of options after Wimbledon - either I continue with doubles but start training and practising singles through the US Open swing, and then try and maybe play singles after that.

"Or I take a longer break post-Wimbledon of maybe, let's say, a month or six weeks, to get myself ready for singles, and then try and play close to the US Open time. It would be nice to play at the US Open but if I don't - look, I got so much enjoyment and happiness after winning a first-round doubles match here that, you know, that's enough."

It seemed at Queen's that was not enough, though.

The Scot, who was close to retiring in January as he was struggling to walk without pain, let alone play tennis, strolled off with the silverware at his first attempt back.

Murray and Lopez - the latter 'fresh' from winning the singles title less than an hour earlier - beat Britain's Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram of the USA 7-6 5-7 10-5 after a third-set match tie-break.

Murray had insisted after their first-round victory that winning was not his number one priority this week but the three-time grand slam champion has clearly not lost the appetite for a battle.

The fledgling partnership was 5-1 down in a first set tie-break but fought back to level, and took it when Ram pushed a forehand wide.

The second set went the way of Salisbury and Ram after Murray dropped serve, and like so many matches during Murray's career, it went to the wire.

Lopez, who must have been running on empty, somehow conjured up a series of stunning winners in the match tie-break to secure his own personal double and an unexpected, but welcome victory for Murray.

He was indebted to Lopez, who has been playing his own version of winner stays on for the past couple of days.

The 37-year-old had spent just shy of five hours on court playing three different matches on Saturday, getting through to the singles final before returning to what this week has seemed far more important, the doubles.

In the final, against Gilles Simon of France, Lopez let a second-set tie-break slip at 4-2 up to take it to a decider, and almost inevitably another tie-break. Lopez came out triumphant after another two hours and 49 minutes of combat.

"It's incredible," he said. "It's tough to believe."I won this tournament in 2017. That was the best win of my career. And then I did it again two years after, and then I won the doubles half an hour after that!"

Lopez took the men's singles title with a marathon three-set victory against Gilles Simon.

The Spaniard ground out a 6-2 6-7 (4) 7-6 (2) win in two hours and 49 minutes. He is oldest winner at Queen's Club, breaking his own record from his victory two years ago.

Second seed Alfie Hewett beat fellow Briton Gordon Reid in straight sets to win the wheelchair singles title at Queen's.

Former French Open and US Open champion Hewett (21) won 6-2 7-5, sealing victory with a forehand down the line. It was the first wheelchair tennis ranking tournament final at Queen's.

Hewett and Reid joined forces later on Sunday for the wheelchair doubles final but they were beaten 6-1 6-0 by top seeds Joachim Gerard and Stefan Olsson.

Roger Federer got his Wimbledon preparations off to the perfect start by claiming a record-extending 10th title at the Halle grass-court event.

The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion beat Belgium's David Goffin 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 to win a 102nd career title.

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