Andy Murray wins Queen’s Club opener in 1,000th match of career

PA Ready, Andy Murray, Queen's Club, Australian, London, Wimbledon

Andy Murray beat Alexei Popyrin in three sets (Jordan Pettitt/PA) (PA Wire)

Andy Murray made a winning start to his Queen’s Club farewell with a milestone victory over Australian world number 48 Alexei Popyrin.

The 37-year-old, a record five-time champion in west London, picked up his first ATP win since March in the 1,000th match of his career.

Yet as with so many of the previous 999, Murray did not make life easy for himself.

The former world number one dropped the second set and appeared to be struggling physically, grimacing after every serve.

But he hit back in the third, a vintage cross-court winner and fist pump lifting the crowd as he brought up break point before dispatching it with a clinical backhand on his way to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win in an hour and 51 minutes..Murray, set to retire either after Wimbledon or the Olympics this summer, said: “I’ve not got too many wins this year, it’s been a difficult season, and I did well to come through in the end.

“Any win you can get is important, that’s why we play. With Wimbledon a few weeks away I want to get some matches in my legs and some confidence. It’s great to get another win here.”

Murray has struggled with an ankle injury and a back issue this year to add to fact that he is still competing at the top level with a metal hip.

He added: “I’ve felt better! But it was enough today.

“My mum told me it was my 1,000th match and that’s a lot of matches, a lot of wear and tear on the body and it’s not easy, but I managed to push through it.”

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