Murray: A big surprise to reach first final since 2017

The 32-year-old quickly took control of the quarter-final encounter

The 32-year-old quickly took control of the quarter-final encounter

Former world number one Andy Murray reached his first final in more than two and a half years on Saturday with a three-set triumph over Ugo Humbert of France in the European Open in Antwerp.

He sealed his first ATP Tour crown since March 2017 by coming from behind to win a battle lasting two hours and 27 minutes 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was forced to put his tennis career on hold after undergoing a serious hip surgery in January, which some feared would end his playing days. "We've played against each other in some big matches in the past in big tournaments", Murray added.

"Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the last couple of years". Stan was playing unbelievable.

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Murray's success brought immediate congratulations including from Spain's Feliciano Lopez who partnered the Briton to the doubles title at Queen's on the eve of Wimbledon.

He was on the ropes at 1-3 and two break points down but dug in and then got his reward as Wawrinka's serve went off the boil and his level dipped, with Murray breaking back to 3-3.

Wawrinka again gained the upper hand as he broke for 2-1 in the final set, but Murray responded as the players traded breaks in four consecutive games.

Wawrinka sang Murray's praises after their incredible encounter despite his loss.

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"It's been a long road to get back to this point".

This will see his ranking head into the world's top 130 although in reality he is already back in top twenty shape. "It's been a big surprise to me and I'm happy to be through to the final". "I've lost today, but in general, it was a great week".

That left Wawrinka serving for the match and, although he led 40-15, Murray willed himself back into the game and took his first match point.

That was his first competition since his January surgery. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court...

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