The Briton returned from a second hip surgery in January 2019 to win the Antwerp title seven months later - his first since 2017 - raising hopes of a return to the top echelons of men's tennis. Murray played the first of back-to-back events in Cologne, where he was knocked out in the first round by Fernando Verdasco last week. "It's been kind of on and off since the U.S. Open," Murray said in a video message on Facebook posted on Sunday.
Having also won tournaments in Doha, Adelaide and Hamburg this year, Rublev is now tied with Novak Djokovic for most titles in 2020 and the 22-year-old is also three wins shy of the world number one's 37 victories. It was deja vu for Coric as he finished runner-up in St Petersburg to a Russian again after a straight sets loss to Daniil Medvedev last year. Rublev was flawless on his serve and never gave Coric a break point opportunity.
COLOGNE, Germany — Alexander Zverev ended his 17-month wait for a title by drawing on the pain of his U.S. Open final defeat to beat Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-3 and win the Cologne Indoors on Sunday. Zverev has had a breakthrough year in Grand Slam tournaments with his first semifinal at the Australian Open in January and first final at the U.S. Open last month, when he lost to Dominic Thiem. Zverev has said he thinks almost constantly about that final, and he credited it with raising his game in Cologne. “I had a very tough final in New York and, the next final I played here, I wanted to come out and play my best tennis,” he said. The German hadn't played the final of any regular ATP Tour events in 2020 until Sunday. Zverev's previous title was at the clay-court Geneva Open in May 2019 and he is now 12-8 in career finals. Zverev broke Auger-Aliassime's serve in the first game of the match to establish early control. Zverev broke in the second at 3-2 and saved two break points in his next service game to hold off a fightback from the Canadian. Auger-Aliassime, of Montreal, is still waiting for his first career title after losing six finals in two seasons, all of them in straight sets. All three of the finals that the 20-year-old Canadian has played this year have been on indoor hard courts. "Again in the final, it's tough," Auger-Aliassime said. "It's just tough to accept, so I don't have much to say outside of I'm disappointed from my level today overall and I'll try again." Zverev said he and Auger-Aliassime had bonded while practicing together in Monaco during the coronavirus pandemic, and he predicted a bright future for the Canadian. “You’re going to be lifting a winner’s trophy very, very soon,” Zverev said. The Cologne Indoors is the first of two new back-to-back tournaments the city is hosting after the ATP calendar was modified due to the pandemic. The second Cologne tournament was already holding qualification matches before Sunday's final in the first tournament took place. It will feature Zverev, former top-ranked player Andy Murray and U.S. Open quarterfinalist Denis Shapovalov. ___ More AP Tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Zverev, 23, won 80% of his first service points and an overwhelming 88% on his second serve while he also converted four of 10 break points to hand Auger-Aliassime -- who is still searching for his first title -- a sixth defeat in a final. "I had a very tough final in New York and the next final I played here I wanted to come out and obviously play my best tennis," Zverev said. Victory gave Zverev his 12th ATP title and his third on home soil after he won the Munich Open in 2017 and 2018.