While it isn’t a major event, the third Battle of the Brits is proving to be a real confidence builder for Andy Murray as he prepares for the Australian Open and the 2021 season.
He battled past Cameron Norrie 6-4 7-6(5) having saved a set point to force the second set tie-break and then claiming his second victory over the four-day event at the National Tennis Centre on his second match point with one of his trademark lobs onto the base line.
The Scot spoke optimistically about his prospects for 2021 last month, pointing to the hard work he had been doing on court and in the gym, and his movement was generally sharp during the two matches, his first being over Dan Evans two days ago.
Evans meanwhile, won his second match of three at the event in confident fashion, beating Liam Broady 6-0 6-2, while teenager Jack Draper, world ranked 303, followed up his victory over the British No.3 Norrie celebrated his 19th birthday with a 6-4 6-1 success over Jay Clarke while Anton Matusevich, also 19, beat the experienced former Davis Cup player James Ward 7-5 7-6(3).
On the women’s side Heather Watson, having beaten Katy Dunne 6-2 6-3 and Jodie Burrage 6-1 6-4 over the previous two days, continued her winning run by defeating beat Emma Raducanu 3-6 6-3 10-2.
Fran Jones won a lengthy two hour and 37-minutes when beating Jodie Burrage 7-5 7-6(6), while Eden Silva beat Naomi Broady 6-4 6-3 for her second win of the tournament and Katy Dunne won 6-3 3-6 10-2 against Alicia Barnett.