British No. 1 Andy Murray ended a 15-month title drought on the ATP World Tour with a three-set victory over Tommy Robredo in the final of the Shenzhen Open on Sunday.
After a rocky start to the match that saw him drop serve in the opening game, break back for 3-3 and once again drop serve at 5-5 to lose the set, Murray rebounded with a tight second set that eventually reached a tiebreaker. It was there that Murray was forced to save 5 consecutive match points to level the match 7-6(9).
With a growing sense of impending doom for Robredo, Murray took command of the deciding set and only allowed his Spanish opponent one game to finish the match 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-1.
“Today was obviously an incredibly tough match, the conditions are so hard to play in,” said Murray. “I got lucky, basically, at the end of the second set. I fought hard, tried my best and thankfully managed to turn it round. Tommy had a great tournament; he probably deserved to win the match today. He had the opportunities in the second set, but sometimes that happens in sport. I just tried to fight till the end.
“[On the match points] I tried to get as many balls back in play as I could. I missed three or four balls in the tie-break by very little. I was frustrated to be in that position, but thankfully managed to turn it around. In those situations you need some luck.”
This marks Murray’s first title win his historic victory at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Since then, the Scot has dealt with back surgery and time off on the sidelines, as well as a gradual return to form over the 2014 season. His title win in Shenzhen serves as a symbol that those days are far behind him now.
“It’s been a long time since I won a tournament,” said Murray. “The way that the match was won doesn’t happen very often. It’s rare to win a match like that. I was very close to losing. It was an emotional week for me. I managed to fight my way through it, win the title, and hopefully I can win another one before the end of the year.”
Murray, who is still bidding for a spot in the Barclays World Tour Finals, will now move to Beijing, where he will begin his week against Polish No. 1 Jerzy Janowicz.