Andy Murray wins first ATP final since hip surgery

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ANTWERP, Belgium — Andy Murray has won his first ATP tour final since having hip surgery in January for an injury that left him contemplating retirement at one point.

Murray rallied to beat fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the European Open final on Sunday.

“This is one of the biggest wins that I’ve had after everything so I’m very proud,” Murray said in an on-court interview broadcast by Amazon Prime.

It was the 32-year-old Murray’s first ATP tour final since March 2017.

After undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, the British player returned to the court in June playing doubles – including at Wimbledon – before moving back to singles in August.

The 34-year-old Wawrinka was looking for his first ATP title since the 2017 Geneva Open.

The crucial break of serve in the first set came in the second game, with Murray saving two break points but not a third, and his Swiss opponent served it out 6-3.

Murray looked in deep trouble when Wawrinka broke again in the third game of the second set, and the Scot had to save more break points to avoid losing a fourth game in a row.

But, having dug in, he got his reward as Wawrinka’s serve went off the boil and his level dipped, with Murray breaking back to 3-3.

Wawrinka had two more chances at 4-4 but again Murray fought off the danger and it was Murray who then took his first set point to clinch it 6-4 and level the match.

Wawrinka stepped up again early in the third set and was twice a break ahead but once more Murray dug in, hitting back immediately both times.

Murray saved two more break points at 4-4 to leave Wawrinka serving to stay in the match. When Wawrinka blazed a forehand well off target on Murray’s first match point, it was the former top-ranked Murray celebrating a remarkable comeback.

Alcaraz loses to Goffin in 1st match as No. 1

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Carlos Alcaraz’s first match as the No. 1-ranked player ended with a straight-set loss to David Goffin at the Astana Open.

The 19-year-old Spaniard lost 7-5, 6-3 in his first tour match since winning the U.S. Open and capturing the No. 1 ranking.

“David was playing really, really well. To come back to competition is never easy,” Alcaraz said. “It’s really tough for me, for my confidence.”

Alcaraz came from 5-2 down to level the first set at 5-5, only to be broken again by his Belgian opponent.

“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice,” Goffin said. “You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today.”

Second-seeded Daniil Medvedev and No. 3-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas both avoided similar upsets. Medvedev beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 6-3, 6-1 and Tsitsipas ousted Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3. 6-4.

Kasatkina knocks out Raducanu at Agel Open

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Fifth-seeded Daria Kasatkina defeated 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Agel Open.

Kasatkina was playing her first match since losing in the first round of the U.S. Open and will next face Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Sixth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland rallied to eliminate former top-five player Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-7 (7), 6-1, while Aliaksandra Sasnovich upset eighth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-2.

American qualifiers Alycia Parks and Catherine McNally both advanced. Parks upset Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 7-6 (3) and McNally eased past Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 at the indoor hardcourt event in the Czech eastern city of Ostrava.