Andy Murray arrived at the Fever-Tree Championships with no expectations for his first tournament back after hip surgery, but he’s now one match from leaving with the doubles title.
Murray and Feliciano Lopez completed a busy Saturday by reaching the final with a 7-5, 6-7(5), 10-7 win over third seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Earlier in the day, Lopez/Murray won their darkness-delayed quarter-final over Daniel Evans and Ken Skupski 6-4, 7-6(3). Lopez/Murray led 6-4, 4-5 when play was suspended on Friday night.
The semi-final victory was Lopez's third of the day. The 37-year-old Spaniard also defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime in three sets to move into the singles final.
Awaiting Lopez/Murray in Sunday’s final are Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who defeated fourth seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 7-6(4), 7-6(8). They saved two set points in the second-set tie-break at 5/6 and 7/8 before advancing in one hour and 29 minutes.
Ram/Salisbury are through to their third ATP Tour doubles final this season. They prevailed in Dubai (d. McLachlan/Struff) and finished runner-up in Brisbane (l. Daniel/Koolhof).
“It's obviously been an amazing event with Andy coming back here. It’s great to see him back and great for the sport and especially great for doubles having him in the tournament,” said Salisbury. “If I wasn't playing Andy, I'd get a bit more support in the final!
“I have won two [ATP] 500 titles before, but I think this would be extra special and an even bigger title just because of the fact I'm playing at home… I’m sure it will be a great experience in the final no matter what happens.”