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Murray Lifts Valencia Trophy, Sixth Title Of Year

Valencia, Spain

Andy Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray has won an ATP World Tour-best six trophies this year.

World No. 4 Andy Murray lifted an ATP World Tour-best sixth trophy of the year at the Valencia Open 500 Sunday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny in 69 minutes. The Scot is undefeated at indoor tournaments this year (12-0 record).

Top seed Murray, who has already qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, picked up €323,000 in prize money and 500 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking points, while Youzhny earned €149,250 and 300 points in his bid to secure a year-end Top 20 finish.

The 22-year-old Murray has now captured 14 tour-level titles from 20 finals (6-1 in 2009 and 8-2 lifetime in indoor finals).  He also beat Youzhny in a third set tie-break at the 2007 St. Petersburg Open en route to the title.

"It was a very, very good week," admitted Murray.  "It is very rare for someone to win a tournament after a long break.  I was happy I have come back from the injury well and played better with every match.  I didn’t have high expectations this week, but with every round and match you get more confident.  I felt good with the way I was hitting the ball."

Murray broke Youzhny’s serve twice in the 35-minute first set, despite being broken in the seventh game. He won 67 per cent of service points and hit six aces, while Youzhny won nine points on return of serve.

In the 34-minute second set, Murray didn’t give Youzhny an opportunity to bounce back as he raced into a 4-0 lead after 18 minutes of play.  Youzhny regrouped winning two service games for the loss of a point, but Murray was not to be denied as he improved to a 63-9 match record on the season.

"It was a difficult match; both of us had long matches on Saturday," said Murray.  "I knew the start of the match was going to be important and I started well, going up 5-1 pretty quickly.  I’d say it was a little easier than I had expected, but he is a tough player."

This year, Murray has also won titles at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Roddick), the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Nadal); the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami (d. Djokovic), the AEGON Championships in London (d. Blake) and the Rogers Cup in Montreal (d. del Potro). He finished runner-up at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Nadal).

World No. 23 Youzhny, who could only convert one of five break point opportunities and won 51 per cent of service points, dropped to 5-7 lifetime in ATP World Tour finals and to a 42-28 mark on the year.

"He played well, but I was not really fresh after Saturday," said Youzhny.  "It was a good week at the end of the season.  I was lucky against [Jo-Wilfried] Tsonga in the first round, when he pulled out, but after that every match was tough.  I could not be 100 per cent fresh for the final, but Andy played well and didn’t give me any chances."

The 27 year old captured his fifth ATP World Tour title at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow (d. Tipsarevic) two weeks ago. He also finished runner-up at the BMW Open in Munich (l. to Llodra) and Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo (l. to Tsonga).

"It has been a tough year for me, but in recent weeks it has been very good," said Youzhny.  "Now I have two or three weeks holiday, then in December I will start to prepare for next year in Thailand."

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