Andy Murray had not won a grass-court title of any kind since triumphing in the doubles at Queen's alongside Feliciano Lopez in 2019
Andy Murray had not won a grass-court title of any kind since triumphing in the doubles at Queen’s alongside Feliciano Lopez in 2019

Britain’s Andy Murray claimed his first grass-court singles title for seven years with victory over Jurij Rodionov in the Surbiton Trophy final.

The 36-year-old produced an impressive display of big serving and returning to brush aside the Austrian 6-3 6-2.

Murray’s surge to victory was held up by a rain delay of almost three hours but the Scot returned to swiftly win the three games required to triumph.

It is also his first singles title on grass since his 2016 Wimbledon win.

Earlier on Sunday, Britain’s Katie Swan lost 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) to Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in the women’s final.

Swan, 24, would have overtaken the injured Emma Raducanu as British number one with victory but lost out after two hours and 38 minutes.

‘I’m bringing home a trophy, kids’

Murray, meanwhile, took just one hour and 10 minutes – on court at least – to see off Rodionov and never looked troubled once he had broken the world number 134’s serve six games in.

His main regret, however, was the lengthy rain interruption denied his four children the chance to witness him lift a trophy in the flesh.

“My kids are always asking me when I go away if I am going to come home with a trophy – and it’s been rare over the last few years!” he said with a smile.

“They actually came two minutes before the rain started and my wife had to take them back home so they missed the end of the match.

“But I think they watched it on TV – so Sophia, Edie, Teddy and Lola, I’ll bring you all a trophy tonight.”

Murray opted to forego the French Open to focus on the grass-court season in a bid to boost his world ranking of 43 and attain a seeding at Wimbledon.

It is a decision that has borne fruit with his second ATP Challenger title in as many months, following his triumph on the clay in Aix-en-Provence in May.

Murray will hope for another deep run next week after being granted a wildcard entry for the Nottingham Open – being shown live on BBC Sport – just as he had been at Surbiton.

“It’s been the perfect start to the grass season,” he added. “I’ve chosen to come and play here and in Nottingham to hopefully get lots of matches under my belt so this week has been the perfect start.”

Murray saved a break point in the opening game against Rodionov – and that was the only one he would face as he hit eight aces and numerous other unreturnable serves in a dominant display.

He was a break and 0-40 up against serve in the second set when rain forced the players off court at about 15:20 BST – but needed just 12 points to see out victory when play finally resumed.

Swan defeat hands Boulter No 1 spot

At several stages of the women’s final, Swan looked like she had both the title and the British number one spot firmly in her grasp as she assumed command against 33-year-old Wickmayer.

Swan twice broke serve in the opening set, while saving five break points on her own serve, to win five successive games from 2-1 down.

The Briton went an early break up in both the second and third sets but was pegged back on each occasion as errors began to creep in.

And although she saved two match points in the deciding set, Wickmayer dominated the tie-break to seal a 20th career title and her first on grass.

Swan had never previously lost a final, winning all 12 she had reached, but defeat means Katie Boulter – who lost in the semi-finals at Surbiton to Wickmayer – instead takes over from Raducanu at the head of the British rankings.

“It’s been an amazing week for me, it’s been such a good event and it’s been really fun for me because I’ve had a lot of friends and family with me this week,” Swan said in her on-court interview.

“My mum was meant to fly home on Thursday and then again on Saturday but I kept winning so she decided to stay. I’m just sorry I couldn’t get the win.”

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