Andy Murray loses ATP Challenger final to Illya Marchenko in Biella

Andy Murray
Facing Marchenko was Murray's first appearance in a final since 2019

Andy Murray was unable to win a first trophy since 2019 after being soundly beaten by Illya Marchenko in the final of the ATP Challenger in Biella, Italy.

Murray, 33, never established a footing and was broken twice in the opening set as Ukraine's Marchenko fired a forehand winner to take a 4-1 lead.

He closed out the set 6-2 and broke again in the opening game of set two.

Murray did not earn a single break point and while he saved match point twice, Marchenko sealed a 6-2 6-4 win.

The world number 212 thoroughly deserved his win over Murray, ranked 87 places higher.

Scotland's Murray last won an event at the European Open in Antwerp in 2019 but he played only seven competitive matches in 2020 because of injury and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This tournament was his first since October and appearing in the second-tier Challenger Tour is a means for Murray to prepare for future events given he lost his place in the Australian Open following a positive Covid-19 test.

Murray had not won on the Challenger Tour since 2005 - when he was 18 - but he never looked like repeating the feat in Biella.

Marchenko served nine aces to Murray's three and converted three of his seven break points.

Elsewhere on Sunday Britain's Liam Broady lost in the final of the Challenger Tour event in South Africa.

Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi proved too strong for Broady and closed out a 7-5 6-4 win to lift the PotchOpen trophy.

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