Andy Murray has his sights trained on Wimbledon after securing a record-equalling fourth Queen’s title.
The Scot matched the hauls of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick, seeing off Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-4 in a one-sided Aegon Championship final.
Murray, top seed and ranked third in the world, lived up to his billing with an effortless performance that saw him floor Anderson with a brilliant variety of winners and a service game that lived up to his big-hitting rival’s standard.
Now the British No 1 is already thinking about his bid for a second SW19 crown.
“It’s been a great week for me and hopefully I can continue that form through to Wimbledon,” he said.
“Obviously you want to go to Wimbledon with matches under your belt on grass. Now I need to make sure I use the next seven days as best as possible.
“I want to continue playing this way through Wimbledon, I need to keep practising hard, playing well and we’ll see what happens in a couple of weeks. I’m looking forward to it.”
Murray believes his game is at least as good as 2013, when he peaked with an emotional Wimbledon success, but insists the current roster – headed by Novak Djokovic – requires constant improvement.
“I’m playing better than then, I feel, but you know it’s extremely difficult to win these events,” added Murray.
“Everyone’s improving all the time. You’re playing against some of the greatest who’ve ever played the game so you need to keep working hard to get better.
“I still feel there’s things I can improve and learn. I keep trying to do my best and hopefully play like this more often.”
Murray can certainly take inspiration from his efforts against Anderson.
He started the day by finishing off Viktor Troicki in the semi-final, a match that restated at 3-3 before Murray wrapped up a 6-3 7-6(4) win.
Rather than tiring him out, that early exertion seemed to warm Murray up for the main event and he stood firm against Anderson’s powerful serve, breaking once in each set while never surrendering his own.
“When you’re playing a match you’re trying to focus on the next point, not thinking about how you’ve played or haven’t played,” he explained.
“I’m often very critical off myself on the court. But obviously I came up with some great shots when I needed them.
“Kevin’s had a fantastic week and he’s playing some great tennis so I had to play that way if I wanted to win.”
As for joining the ranks of the four-time champions at Queen’s, Murray confessed a personal bond with the event.
“I love the tournament here. It’s where I won my first match at 18 as a wildcard,” he said.
“I love the court and I love the club. The crowd was packed from the very first Monday through to the end of the tournament and I’m pleased to play in front of a crowd with such fantastic support.”
It was the world number three’s 34th tour title, on the occasion of his 50th final.
Murray made a confident start, serving out the first game without trouble only for Anderson to respond in kind, including two trademark aces.
The Scot held a second service game before making his move, taking a 3-1 lead with the first break of the match.
Anderson repeatedly saw his mighty serves coming back at him and could not match his opponent in open play.
Murray eased his advantage to 4-1, losing just one point to a failed drop shot and sealing it with a fine cross-court forehand, and saw the set out with minimal fuss.
Anderson was being outmanoeuvred by Murray and was making no inroads on Murray’s games.
Murray broke Anderson for a second time to go 3-2 ahead.
It was here Murray showed his class, winning the closest the two had come to a flowing rally, hitting a sumptuous return winner next up then pairing a delicate lob with a neat drop shot at break point as he cruised to a comfortable victory.
Roger Federer continued his mastery of the Gerry Weber Open, winning at Halle for the eighth time.
The Swiss star has now won 86 tour-level titles and 15 on grass after Andreas Seppi was defeated 7-6 (7/1) 6-4.
His phenomenal haul at Halle makes him just the third player in the Open era to win eight times in a single event, joining Spain’s Rafael Nadal (French Open, Monte Carlo, Barcelona) and Guillermo Vilas (Buenos Aires).