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Murray completes fairytale return; Lopez claims two titles

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LONDON — Andy Murray completed a fairytale return from hip surgery by winning the Queen’s Club doubles title with Feliciano Lopez, who ended Sunday with two titles after earlier winning the singles title as well.

The Spaniard is the first man to win both titles at the grass-court tournament in London since Mark Philippoussis in 1997.

Murray spent five months away from the sport until this week. He and Lopez defeated Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6 (6), 5-7, 10-5 in the doubles final – not long after Lopez outlasted Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2) in the singles.

Murray capped a remarkable week 146 days after undergoing what he hopes was career-saving hip surgery. In January he had said he was planning to retire after Wimbledon because of the severe pain he felt on a daily basis.

The three-time Grand Slam champion is approaching Wimbledon, which starts July 1, full of confidence after playing freely and without pain as he secured his first doubles title since winning with his brother Jamie Murray in Tokyo in 2011. Murray won’t play singles at Wimbledon but has already confirmed that Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert will partner him in the men’s doubles.

Murray and Lopez hadn’t played together in a tournament before beating top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Thursday. They completed their darkness-delayed quarterfinal win over British duo Daniel Evans and Ken Skupski on Saturday, right before their semifinal win over Henri Kontinen and John Peers.

Lopez, who had been forced to play in three matches on Saturday including his singles semifinal, played almost 5 hours of tennis altogether on Sunday. He reaffirmed his status as the tournament’s oldest winner at age 37 with the singles title.

The veteran Spaniard was already its oldest winner when he took the title in 2017.

Lopez was playing his first final since defeating Marin Cilic in the decider two years ago and was made to work hard by the 34-year-old Simon.

Lopez saved all but one of the break points he faced and converted three of his 13 opportunities to prevail in 2 hours, 49 minutes. Lopez had won five of their previous seven meetings and all four on grass.

Lopez is the first wild card to claim the title since Pete Sampras defeated Tim Henman to win in 1999. He would have been the oldest player to win a tour-level title since the 43-year-old Ken Rosewall won the Hong Kong Grand Prix final in 1977, but Roger Federer beat him to that accolade after winning his 10th Halle Open title earlier Sunday. Federer is a month older than Lopez.

Wang Qiang reaches Bronx Open quarterfinals

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NEW YORK — Top-seeded Wang Qiang advanced to the quarterfinals of the Bronx Open with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Fiona Ferro on Wednesday.

The Chinese player, who will be the No. 18 seed in next week’s U.S. Open, will next face Anna Blinkova, who had to wait out a third-set rain delay before outlasting Mihaela Buzarnescu 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 in a match that lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes.

No. 10 seed Karolina Muchova also reached the quarterfinals by beating Kristie Ahn 6-3, 6-1, moving on to play Magda Linette. Linette knocked off ninth-seeded Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1, 6-4.

Andy Murray to play in Challenger Tour event in Spain

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MADRID — Andy Murray will play in a second-tier Challenger Tour tournament hosted by Rafael Nadal’s tennis academy.

The tournament says Murray has accepted an invitation to play.

Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, had hip surgery in January. He returned to the court in June playing doubles – including at Wimbledon – before moving back to singles this month. The former No. 1 lost to Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati and to Tennys Sandgren in Winston-Salem, both in the first round.

Murray has not played on the Challenger Tour since 2005. His opener at the tournament in Mallorca, Spain, will be his 35th match in the lower division.

The tournament starts on Aug. 26.