Andy Murray declared himself in the form of his life after underlining his Wimbledon credentials with a record-equalling fourth Queen’s Club triumph.
Murray’s 6-3 6-4 dispatch of big-serving Kevin Anderson placed the Scot alongside John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick as only the fifth man in professional tennis history to land four titles at the traditional Wimbledon lead-up event.
The last time he reigned, in 2013, Murray famously followed up to become the first British man in 77 years to win the sport’s most coveted crown at The All England Club.
The world No.3 will return next week believing he is playing even better two years on after completing a seamless transition from clay to grass with impressive twin victories on Sunday.
Britain’s big hope had been bracing for a long afternoon after heavy rain on Saturday forced the suspension of his semi-final against Victor Troicki with the score locked at 3-3 in the opening set.
But after returning on Sunday to wrap up a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over the Serb, Murray withstood another 10 aces from Anderson – taking his tournament tally beyond the century mark – to see off South Africa’s world No.17 in just 63 minutes.
Murray’s 34th success in his 50th career final earned the 28-year-old a third title of the season after also collecting trophies in Munich and Madrid during a superb claycourt campaign.
After undergoing back surgery following his historic Wimbledon victory, the Australian Open runner-up has no doubts he has not only returned to his best, but taken his game to new levels in 2015.
“Physically, I’m definitely in a better place than I was then,” he said.
“And I feel like I’m using my variety very well just now, something that maybe I wasn’t the last couple of years. That’s been good for me.
“More experience, more matches – there are a few things I’m doing a little bit better.”
Murray has won 33 of 36 matches since February, his only three defeats all coming against world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
“There is no disgrace in losing to him,” he said.
“But obviously if I want to win the major competitions – I have beaten him in those tournaments before when I won US Open and Wimbledon and the Olympics – and I need to continue to improve and learn from those matches.
“I also look at him and the things he’s doing well and try to improve upon my own weaknesses.
“But, yeah, I can’t complain about the way I played the last few months. I mean, there is one player in the world that’s played better than me.
“I would like to be that player, but hopefully in the future I can be.”