Murray and Paul will face off for the Challenger 175 crown | ATP tour

Fans of the ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Aix-en-Provence, France will be in for a treat on Sunday, when three-time major champion Andy Murray and world No. 17 Tommy Paul battle it out for the title.

Murray and Paul both picked up victories in straight sets in Saturday’s semi-finals at the Open Aix Provence Crédit Agricole. Britain’s Murray displayed superb all-court coverage and fended off all four break points against home prospect Harold Mayot 7-5, 6-1.

Mayot, 21, showed a variety of tactics, often deploying drop shots and advancing in his first Challenger semi-final of the year.

You might also like: Murray: “Dad was throwing balls at me from a shopping bag”

Top seed Paul, who is yet to drop a set this week, beat David Goffin 6-4, 6-2 in the last four after the American won 54% of the return points.

“Goffin is an unreal player, he’s had an unreal career,” Paul said. “I think I came back really well and played the big points well. There were a few times where I was down on break point and found a first serve. I was really happy this side.

Tommy Paul in action during the ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Aix-en-Provence, France.” />
Tommy Paul in action during the ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Aix-en-Provence, France. Credit: Jared Wickerham/ATP Tour

Looking ahead to Sunday’s blockbuster final, Murray and Paul feel their level has improved over the week.

“[It will be] a big challenge for me. Tommy has had a great year so far, playing the best tennis of his career,” Murray said. “He played well this week as well. He is a brilliant athlete. I think my game is well placed. I feel like I played much better the last two games. Let’s hope for another good performance tomorrow.

Paul said: “The field is definitely strong here [in Aix-en-Provence]. There are a ton of very, very good players. I knew that with each match I had to play better and better and I think that with each match I played a little better. I’m happy with how today went. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game.

In 2021, Paul beat Murray in their only ATP Tour level encounter at the 250 event in Stockholm, where the American won the title.

Both ATP Tour staples, Murray could claim his first Challenger title since winning the Binghamton Challenger in 2005. Paul last won a Challenger title in 2019, when he won the Tiburon Challenger.

In doubles, Australians Jason Kubler and John Peers will face Portugal’s Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral in Sunday’s championship match.

Did you know?
This season, the ATP Challenger Tour announced the all-new 175 events, which take place during the second week of select ATP Masters 1000 events. The Arizona Tennis Classic in March was the first Challenger 175 event, won by Portugal’s Nuno Borges. Bordeaux, France and Turin, Italy will also host Challenger 175 tournaments later this month.

Leave a Comment