Murray crowned the king of Queen_Ñés
Originally published on: 16/06/13 00:00
Murray, who was playing in his first tournament since picking up a back injury in Rome one month ago, beat Cilic 5-7 7-5 6-3 to extend his winning record over the Croat to 9-1.
"Me and Marin, we have played against each other since juniors, and we have had a lot of close matches and tight matches," said Murray in his post-match interview. "I was lucky to come through in the end because he was playing great tennis, especially towards the end of the second set and I got a little bit lucky at the end of that set."
After a three-hour rain delay it was the home favourite who started the better, breaking the Cilic serve at the first attempt to cruise into a 3-0 lead.
But the Croatian, like so often this week, found his way into the points and was rewarded for his consistency off the ground when he converted on his sixth break point of the set to close the gap to 4-3.
The sun finally found a way through the clouds in time to see the 6ft6 Monte-Carlo resident break again. The defending champion took advantage of some safe second serves from Murray to take the lead for the first time in the match before fending off a break point on his own serve to clinch the first set 7-5.
It was the fifth time in the pair's ten meetings that Murray dropped the opening set and the Briton continued to struggle to pick holes in Cilic’s armour early in the second. After failing to capitalise on two break points at 3-3, Murray produced a timely break in the 12th game of the set when a forehand error from Cilic handed the No.1 seed the set 7-5.
Murray began to put more weight behind his groundstrokes at the beginning of the third set, forcing his 24-year-old opponent behind the baseline and out of his comfort zone and when he broke to lead 3-1 he never looked back.
The two-time champion delighted the home crowd as he turned defence into attack with ease and after failing to convert two match points on the Cilic serve at 5-2 he comfortably held serve in the next game to take the set 6-3 and with it a third Aegon Championships.
"I worked very hard in the time that I had off to try and get myself off in the best shape possible, and I couldn't do it obviously without my team," said Murray. "They have helped me a lot. They have been very patient with me."