Murray wins first grass-court title since 2016

LONDON — Andy Murray hailed his “perfect start to the grass season” as the three-time Grand Slam champion stepped up preparations for Wimbledon in style.

Murray, 36, became the oldest grass-court champion at an ATP Challenger Tour event, beating Austrian Jurij Rodionov 6-3, 6-2 Sunday in the final of the Lexus Surbiton Trophy to earn a seeded position at Wimbledon next month.

Murray withdrew from the French Open to prioritize Wimbledon, where he has won two of his majors on grass.

Sunday’s victory was his first grass-court tournament title since he won the second of his two Wimbledon titles in 2016.

Murray showcased a powerful shot collection that dismantled Rodionov in just more than an hour. Heavy rain suspended play during the second set before Murray sent down more punishing serves to claim the win.

The downpour caused a near three-hour delay and meant Murray’s children missed seeing him win.

“They didn’t tell me they were coming, then obviously I won the first set and my wife decided to bring [the kids] in case I won,” Murray said.

“They arrived as the rain came and then left as they took the covers off. She messaged me saying, ‘Well done, we have just got home, I can’t believe we didn’t stay.'”

Wimbledon begins on July 3.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.