Andy Murray warms up for Wimbledon with straight-sets victory at Surbiton
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Murray continued his fine form at the tournament as he beat Austrian Rodionov 6-3 6-2 to earn him a seeded position at Wimbledon next month, with the 36-year-old now eyeing a third title at his home grand slam.
Having seen off Australia’s Jordan Thompson in Saturday’s semi-finals, Murray showcased a powerful shot collection which dismantled Rodionov in just over an hour.
The pair were subjected to Surbiton’s soaring temperatures but maintained a high level of energy as they jostled for the lead in a competitive opening set on centre court.
Murray’s serve was a vital weapon on the day and he picked up crucial aces in the early stages to punish Rodionov, who trailed 5-3 as his opponent looked to take a one-set lead.
Murray rounded off the first set and showed signs of his best through his intricate shot selection which caused his opponent to scramble across the turf and pay an exhaustive price in sweltering conditions.
And the former world number one, who was backed by a fervent Surbiton crowd, began to punish the Austrian with classy forehands which forced errors from his opponent as he took a firmer grip on the tie.
Murray led the second set 3-1 but Rodionov’s persistence came to the fore as Murray began to let out frustrated groans as the visitor looked for a way back into the final.
But the number two seed continued to bombard Rodionov with a series of quality serves just before a heavy downpour suspended play, which offered some much-needed respite to both players after temperatures reached 29 degrees.
Play resumed nearly three hours later and Murray quickly reasserted himself on the unseeded Rodionov, taking a fourth game which put him within touching distance of the trophy.
The rain failed to dampen the Surbiton crowd’s spirit and excitement began to grow as they witnessed Murray in top gear on grass just weeks away from Wimbledon.
Murray sent down more punishing serves which further highlighted the gulf between himself and Rodionov as the Scot claimed a well-deserved victory.