Munich, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) – Andy Murray has finally added a clay-
court title to his impressive resume.
The two-time Grand Slam champion waited an extra day because of rain, then
outlasted Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in a 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 7-6 (7-4)
victory in Monday’s final of the BMW Open.
Murray had never even been to a clay-court final, losing in the semifinals
five times before breaking through on Saturday. Four of those semifinal losses
came against clay king Rafael Nadal.
The Scot then had to wait four hours on Sunday because of rain before the
start of the final and trailed 3-2 in the first set before weather again
halted play for the day after 23 minutes.
It took nearly three more hours to complete on Monday.
Murray and Kohlschreiber were both dominant on serve in the first set, losing
a combined six first-service points. Without even a break chance, the set went
to a tiebreak, which the top-seeded Murray managed to win.
After an early exchange of breaks in the second set, Kohlschreiber fought off
three break points in the eighth game and broke Murray again for a 6-5 lead
before holding to force a decisive third set.
The last also went to a tiebreak and Murray rallied from a 2-3 deficit with
four straight points before finally closing it out for his 32nd career title
and first of 2015.
He is the first British player to win a clay-court singles title since Buster
Mottram in 1976.
“It means a lot to have won,” said Murray. “It was my first final on the clay,
having lost a few semifinals at Roland Garros, Rome and Monte Carlo. We played
a very high standard match. I just managed to hang on at the end.”
Murray had been 0-2 in finals this year, losing to Novak Djokovic at the
Australian Open and Miami Masters. He is 32-16 all-time in finals.
Kohlschreiber, seeded fifth this week, fell in the title match for the second
time in three years. He also lost in the 2013 final to countryman Tommy Haas,
but previously won the event in 2007 and 2012.
“It was a very special moment for me, in front of a home crowd,” said
Kohlschreiber. “I think I pushed Andy to the limit. We had some unbelievable
points. I think, for the spectators who came, it was one of the best Munich
Murray and Kohlschreiber could meet again this week in Madrid. Murray is the
second seed and has a bye into the second round, where he could again face
Kohlschreiber, who is scheduled to play Alejandro Falla in the first round.