Andy Murray crowned king of Queen's as he defeats Kevin Anderson in Aegon Championship final
It would take an unusually demanding judge to find a flaw in Andy Murray’s 64-minute demolition of Kevin Anderson in the Queen’s Club final on Sunday. Even Murray himself, a notorious perfectionist, was struggling to come up with anything to grumble about on Sunday night.

He may have won bigger prizes in his stellar career, but has he ever played better? Not according to Andrew Castle, the watching BBC commentator, who has covered the majority of his grass-court matches over the years. Nor according to Miles Maclagan, Murray’s former coach, who said on radio that the Scot must start Wimbledon as the tournament favourite.
• Murray v Anderson: as it happened
As for Murray himself, he was asked after the match if he felt that he was back to the level of play that enabled him to win Wimbledon two years ago. “I’m playing better than then, I feel,” came the reply, as he digested the 6-3, 6-4 victory that had earned him his 34th career title.
This was the fourth time Murray has lifted the giant Aegon Championships trophy, which puts the British No 1 alongside a storied quartet in John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick. His prize money will be significantly greater this time, though, as a result of the tournament’s promotion from a 250‑point event to a 500. He took home a touch over £270,000 last night, as opposed to the £60,000 he won here in 2013.
Technically, it was not his most dominant campaign at Queen’s Club, because he dropped zero sets in 2009 whereas he mislaid one this year, against the blank-faced Gilles Muller, in their quarter-final on Friday. But the sheer flair that he brought to the court has created a rare current of excitement among the former players in the club dining room. Not only is he striking his lethal skimming backhand with more body rotation than he was able to generate before his spinal surgery, and thus gaining a little extra racquet speed, but his touch shots – the lobs and drop-shots – are working better than ever.

This last improvement can be laid at the door of his coach, Amelie Mauresmo. As Murray’s mother Judy told the Tennis Podcast this week: “The way that she played the game herself – very intuitive, lots of skill and lots of variety – is actually very similar to the way that Andy developed his game as a young player. I think Amelie has brought back a lot of the creativity into his game that he had perhaps not used as much when he was working with Ivan, who was more about trying to get him to be more aggressive more often, and to help him setting and resetting his focus.”
Mauresmo herself has not been at Queen’s Club during the past week – she has been taking a rest, something she probably needs in her late stage of pregnancy, before travelling to London on Monday – so Murray is working with his new assistant coach, Jonas Bjorkman. And this relationship could hardly have started any more smoothly: Bjorkman’s record as a courtside spectator now stands at nine wins and no losses, including two ATP titles.
Murray had to claim two of those wins on Sunday, as a result of the rain that interrupted his semi-final against Viktor Troicki on Saturday night. That one resumed on Sunday at 3-3 in the first set, and actually provided him with a slightly sterner test than the Anderson match, in the sense that he suffered a rare lost service game in the second set, and then had to fight his way through a tight tie-break to complete a 6-3, 7-6 victory.
He then had two hours to go through all his routines – physio, stretching, refuelling, and a second warm-up – before returning to the court to face Anderson.
At this stage, he had already racked up an hour of competitive tennis, so it was fortunate in the circumstances that he was so sharp and economical throughout the day. The winners were flowing from every facet of his game as he served with accuracy, drove the ball powerfully off the ground, and tossed in regular helpings of those tricksy variations.
The last point of the day ended with a viciously side-spun slice that kissed the sideline as it bent away from Anderson like a boomerang. He got a racquet to the ball but could only push it long.
This was one of those matches in which the losing player can walk away with a shrug and an acknowledgement that they gave their best. Anderson landed 73 per cent of his first serves – which are among the most potent on the tour – and gave up only two break points in the match. Unhappily for him, that was all Murray needed. The second of those critical points produced a rally that few players could have bettered, ­ending in a forehand drop-shot winner hit with baffling underspin.
“It’s pretty tough to ace him,” Anderson said after the match. “I remember one point in the second set where I thought I hit a great serve out wide, and he was right on it and hit a winner return up the line, which other guys just weren’t doing throughout the week.
“Even looking at him after the match, he feels quite at home winning a title. The way he was playing today, the way he was moving and serving, he’s come off a terrific clay- court season, which in the past has been his weaker surface, and had great success there. So you have to look at him as one of the favourites [for Wimbledon] this year.”