TENNIS : Andy Murray picked up his sixth title of the year and the 14th of his career with a comprehensive victory over Mikhail Youzhny at the inaugural Valencia Open.
Andy Murray picked up his sixth title of the year and the 14th of his career with a comprehensive victory over Mikhail Youzhny at the inaugural Valencia Open.
The world number four, playing in his first tournament for nearly two months after recovering from a wrist injury, looked impressive throughout in a 6-3 6-2 win over the Russian.
Murray, whose last title came at the Masters event in Canada in August, can now celebrate winning six titles in one season for the first time in his career.
The Scot withstood a barrage of power from Spaniard Fernando Verdasco on Saturday before coming through in three sets and looked more comfortable on Sunday, cementing an early break with a stunning cross-court forehand.
Murray was well in control by now and it was no surprise when he broke again for a 5-1 lead courtesy of another error from Youzhny.
The Russian put up more of a fight in the next game and retrieved one of the breaks when his opponent shanked a forehand after a long baseline rally.
Murray made no mistake second time round, though, clinching the first set with an ace.
Youzhny was immediately under pressure at the start of the second set and could not prevent Murray picking up another break.
The Russian simply could not generate any degree of dominance on his serve and he quickly found himself two breaks behind at 3-0.
Youzhny had two chances to break back in the next game but Murray held firm, although the 27-year-old did manage to get his name on the scoreboard in his next service game. It was merely delaying the inevitable, however, and an ace sealed a most dominant of victories for the British number one.