World No. 3 Andy Murray sent British fans into a frenzy and speculation rising as to his Wimbledon chances on Sunday when he became the first British man in 71 years to lift the trophy at the Queen’s Club ATP event in London, defeating American James Blake 7-5, 6-4 for the title.
“It’s pretty special,” Murray said. “There have been some great grasscourt players from Britain the last 70-odd years. Tim (Henman) and Greg (Rusedski) were both very good grasscourt players. The names that are on the trophy, there’s a lot of great, great players. So to be on that trophy is great. Obviously because it’s not happened that a British player has won for so long, that makes it nicer.”
At Wimbledon Murray will again attempt to become the first British men’s singles champion since Fred Perry in 1936.
“For me, if I go into a Grand Slam feeling confident and having won a tournament, regardless of whether it’s here or in Paris or the US Open, it’s good for my game,” Murray said. “I’m not planning on getting caught up in the whole hype and the pressure, because I don’t think that that helps if you do.”
Henman finished runner-up three times in 1999 (l. to Sampras) and 2001-02 (l. to Hewitt) at the Queen’s Club.
It was Murray’s fourth title in five finals this year.
Blake was looking for his first grasscourt title in his third final appearance after Newport in 2002 (l. to Taylor Dent) and at Queen’s in 2006 (l. to Hewitt).
“A match like this, top players, it comes down to a couple of points, who plays those big break points better,” Blake said. “I don’t think I saved one break point today. He just played those points a little better than me today. That’s frustrating, but when it just turns on a couple points here and there, I feel like I’m right there.”
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