Seven days ago, Andy Murray took home the Surbiton trophy in response to his kids requests and, having reached the Rothesay Open final in Nottingham a week later, he was no doubt keen to repeat that gesture.
He in fact admitted he was hoping to make it back home early to see his children before they retired so was not only surprised but delighted to find them there watching his latest triumph! For him a great present on ‘Father’s Day’.
“I didn’t know they were here,” he told the on-court interviewer whilst attempting to hold back his emotions. “I had no idea they were coming.
“They came last week for the final at Surbiton; they turned up and it started raining so they had to go home for the kids’ bed-time and they missed the end of the match, so it’s great they could come today.”
On paper the outcome was always clear cut – a former Wimbledon champion against an inexperienced qualifier – but upsets in the tennis world are not so unknown especially when one player has nothing to lose and the other a reputation to uphold.
The former world No.1 got off to a good start against the 20-year-old Arthur Cazaux from France, going up a double break against the world No. 181.
However, the top seed was broken to love by the qualifier while serving for the first set but recovered to serve out (also to love) at the next opportunity, sealing it with an ace after a series of winners that wrongfooted his opponent.
The Frenchman made it more of a contest in the second set but Murray made the key breakthrough at 4-4 when Cazaux netted twice in succession to hand the Briton a break that left him serving for the match.
A stunning backhand down the line put him two points from victory before Cazaux netted a service return and Murray wrapped up a 6-4 6-4 victory on his first match point after 106-minutes when the Frenchman hit long.
AS regards preparation for Wimbledon which start on July 3, the last fortnight has proved an excellent exercise for the Scot who has now won 10 consecutive matches on grass and dropped just one set but it has been at Challenger level and the quality of opponent awaiting him a Queen’s, where he plays next, will prove a lot tougher.
Murray, a record five-time champion at Queen’s, will rise to 38 in the world rankings published on Monday following his Nottingham run.