Surbiton | Murray eases into the final

Andy Murray slipped into the Lexus Surbiton Trophy final with a solid 7-6(5) 6-3 performance to defeat the defending champion Jordan Thompson and go one better than he did last year

it's been a while since I've won a tournament on home soil and hopefully, I can do that tomorrow Andy Murray

He will face Jurij Rodionov and should he prevail to become champion aged 36, he will become the oldest grass-court winner in the 45-years of Challenger history.

The two-time Wimbledon champion was into his stride from the opening moments to lead 3-0 but the Aussie fought back to force a tie-break where Murray’s better consistency and all-court coverage helped him take firm control.

A brief cloud burst halted play while Murray held a break point on the Thompson serve at the start of the second which the world No.76 saved when play resumed but quickly found himself trailing 5-2 when he finally broke back to only briefly deny the Scot his inevitable victory.

“It was a very, very tight first set but I improved a bit in the second set, served well and started hitting the ball better from the back of the court so hopefully I can continue that in the final,” Murray said.

“To get the opportunity to play in the final tomorrow will be great. I’m obviously looking forward to that – it’s been a while since I’ve won a tournament on home soil and hopefully, I can do that tomorrow.”

His opponent Rodionov, ranked 134 and a six-time Challenger winner who defeated Belgian Zizou Bergs 6-2 6-4 to claim a place in the title round, is chasing his first title on grass and so far this week, hasn’t dropped a set.

The pair met last year on the same court with Murray defeating Rodionov 6-2 6-4 so the Austrian would no doubt like to avenge that loss.

The Brit is aiming for his second Challenger title of the year having won the Aix-en-Provence event last month in France when he beat Tommy Paul of the US in the final round and has announced he will be playing the Rothesay Open Nottingham next week in continuance of his preparations for Wimbledon.

The British number two Dan Evans, who lost in the second round at Surbiton, has also been confirmed for Nottingham which he has won twice in the last three years.

Junij Rodionov takes on Andy Murray in final

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images



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