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Andy Murray wins 1st title since 2019

Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE - MAY 7: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates after beating Tommy Paul of the United States on Court Credit Agricole during the singles finals at the Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole on May 7, 2023 in Aix-en-Provence, France. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/ATP Tour via Getty Images)

ATP Tour via Getty Images

PARIS -- Andy Murray is hoping his first title in three years will be platform to build on after “a bit of a struggle” over the last 18 months.

With the French Open looming, Murray won an ATP Challenger event in southern France over the weekend for his first tournament victory since 2019 - and first on clay since 2016.

Murray won the second-tier event in Aix-en-Provence by defeating 17th-ranked Tommy Paul 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in the final.

“This last year, 18 months has been a bit of struggle with my game,” Murray said. “But (my team) have been there supporting me and working with me to try and get better. We keep going from here.”

Murray, a former top-ranked player with three Grand Slam titles, claimed his first tournament victory since winning in Antwerp back in 2019.

His previous title on clay was the 2016 Rome Masters.

It was Murray’s third challenger title and first since 2005. According to the tour, the gap of 17 years and 8 months between challenger titles was the longest ever.

Murray climbed to No. 42 in the ATP rankings, his highest since returning from two hip operations in 2018 and 2019.

The French Open starts on May 28.