Andy Murray surpassed his own expectations after claiming a memorable come-from-behind victory over Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.
In January, an emotional Murray stated during a press briefing at the Australian Open that he thought his career might be over due to a long-term hip injury.
The Briton underwent resurfacing surgery but made a return to court in doubles competition at Queen's in June before making a singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.
Just two months on, the tears of despair in Melbourne were replaced by tears of joy as Murray earned a first ATP title win since 2017 after defeating Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.
"It means a lot. The past few years have been extremely difficult. Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the past couple of years," Murray said on court.
"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy."
Wawrinka himself was searching for a first Tour title since two surgeries on his left knee in August 2017 and Murray paid tribute to his defeated opponent.
"Stan is a brilliant player. He's won many, many big tournaments. He always plays extremely well in the big matches," Murray said.
"We know each other's games well. We played many tough matches in the past. I expected another one and that was what I got."
Featured from our writers