Classy Murray wins Queen's title
By Chris Bevan
Andy Murray produced another impressive display to beat James Blake 7-5 6-4 and clinch his first grass-court title at the Aegon Championships at Queen's.
The in-form British number one found Blake tough to shake off but made the decisive break at 5-5 in the first set.
The American hit some huge winners in the second set but also made too many errors and Murray took full advantage.
Murray won in an hour and eight minutes to become the first British champion at Queen's since Bunny Austin in 1938.
More importantly, the world number three has made a statement of intent ahead of Wimbledon, which begins on 22 June.
The 22-year-old Scot, who enjoyed his best clay-court season of his career in the build-up to Queen's, made the transition to grass with impressive ease.
He dropped serve only twice all week, and did not lose a set on his way to lifting the trophy.
But, with defending champion Rafael Nadal and five-time winner Roger Federer standing in his way at SW19, Murray is not getting carried away with his chances of a first Grand Slam title.
"I'm a long way from winning Wimbledon," Murray told BBC Sport after his win over Blake.
"I feel confident but I try not to get too far ahead of myself before I've played my first match there.
"If I play my best like I have this week I've got a chance, but two of the greatest players of all time are going to be there and it will be tough to get past them."
Murray continued to serve solidly against Blake, who hit plenty of the big groundstrokes for which he is renowned but also made a series of costly errors.
It seemed Murray had got the measure of his opponent early on, breaking him in the third game after bringing him into the net and drawing mistakes from the American.
But Blake broke back immediately and came close to snatching the first set at 5-4 when Murray double-faulted to trail 15-30.
A brilliant drop shot helped the Scot recover to hold, however, and some typically tenacious play in the next game saw him break Blake before serving out for the set.
Blake, who has an English mother, got plenty of support from the crowd after a series of calls went against him.
And he continued to battle in the second set, which saw the first six games go with serve.
But at 3-3, Murray upped his game and found a chink in Blake's game thanks to a superb cross-court winner.
From there, he moved effortlessly past the finish line, serving brilliantly to wrap up his third Tour title of 2009.
"I played some of the best tennis I've ever played in my life," Murray added.
"I was playing well all week and took my chances when I had them.
"I was quite nervous today because no British player had won here for 70-odd years, so it got the nerves going, especially when I was serving for the match.
"James is a very tough player, we have only met once before so I didn't know what to expect. He had a great week and beat a lot of big servers.
"The only thing left is to try and get a Grand Slam title in a couple of weeks.
"I've played well this week and now I have to focus on getting ready for Wimbledon."
Story from BBC SPORT:
Published: 2009/06/14 14:44:41 GMT
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