Murray/Lopez Complete Dream Week With Queen's Club Doubles Title
Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez ended their weeks in the best manner possible at the Fever-Tree Championships. The pair saved two set points in the opening set en route to clinching the doubles title on Sunday with a 7-6(6), 5-7, 10-5 win over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.
Murray was competing in his first tournament since undergoing hip surgery shortly after the Australian Open. The Brit picked up his first ATP Tour doubles title since prevailing with brother Jamie Murray at 2011 Tokyo (d. Cermak/Polasek).
“I felt relaxed at the beginning of the week, but felt more nervous as it went on. I think my competitive instincts started kicking in,” said Murray. “My hip has felt great, pain-free. I’ll try to keep progressing, but am just happy to be back on the court.”
Lopez, who defeated Gilles Simon earlier in the day to clinch the singles crown, is the first player since Matteo Berrettini (2018 Gstaad) to win singles and doubles title at the same event. The Spaniard is also the first man since Mark Philippoussis (1997) to win both titles in the same year at The Queen's Club.
“This happens maybe only once in a lifetime. I can’t believe it,” said Lopez. “I’m so happy for Andy to play with me and we’re so happy he’s back on the tennis court.”
Ram/Salisbury drop to 1-2 in ATP Tour doubles finals this year. They took the title in Dubai (d. McLachlan/Struff) and finished runner-up in Brisbane (l. to Daniel/Koolhof).
“These guys are veterans and legends of the game,” said Ram of their opponents. “It’s great to have Andy back out here and to see what Feli did this week is inspiring.”
The American-British duo reached the final without dropping a set. They defeated second seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares in the quarter-finals before taking out fourth seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the semi-finals.
“Just to play here this week was amazing, but to get to the final was an incredible experience,” said Salisbury. “We’ve had a great week and played some really good tennis. Obviously we’re a bit disappointed now, but we’ll look back and see we played well this week."
A forehand winner from Salisbury on Murray's serve gave his team a 4-3 lead in the opening set, but the Brit couldn't convert on a set point on his serve at 5-4 and sent a forehand volley long. A second set point for Ram/Salisbury came and went at 6/5 in the tie-break after Ram missed a forehand return. The American pushed a forehand volley wide two points later to give Lopez/Murray the early advantage.
Both teams held serve throughout the second set until 5-6, when Ram rifled a backhand winner to give his team two set points. Lopez missed a forehand volley on the second chance and the championship battle moved to a Match Tie-break.
Lopez saved his best tennis for the final minutes. He ripped a return up the line for a 5/4 mini-break advantage, then unleashed a barrage of big serves and winners to give his team five championship points. A forehand hit wide by Salisbury at 9/5 wrapped up the match after one hour and 50 minutes.