BIELLA, February 14, 2021
Andy Murray’s first tournament since October finished in a straight-sets defeat to World No. 212 Illya Marchenko of the Ukraine in Sunday’s final of the Biella Challenger Indoor 1 held at the Palasport Biella, Italy. The three-time Grand Slam champion from Great Britain and top seed of the €44,820 hard-court event was overpowered 2-6, 4-6 in just under one hour and 30 minutes as fellow 33-year-old Marchenko didn’t face a break point.
The former World No. 49 from the Ukraine battled through the bottom half of the draw with wins over No. 5 seed Martin Klizan from Slovakia, Italian veteran Luca Vanni, No. 4 seed Lorenzo Giustino and No. 2 seed Federcio Gaio from Italy en-route to the championship match.
By lifting his eighth Challenger career trophy, his first since 2019 Nur-Sultan, Marchenko earned €6,190 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points.
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) February 14, 2021
Murray was playing on the ATP Challenger Tour for the first time since the 2019 Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca after being ruled out of the ongoing Australian Open following a positive test for COVID-19 last month. The Scot won three matches in as many days against Mathias Bourgue of France, Italian Gian Marco Moroni and No. 6 seed Blaz Rola from Slovenia. In the opening round, Murray came from a set down to overcome Germany’s Maximilian Marterer. The World No. 125 pocketed €3,650 in prize money as well as 48 ATP Ranking points.
Both players will stay in Northern Italy for another week. Murray is scheduled to face Italian Federico Gaio in the second Challenger tournament being held in Biella from Monday as he continues to improve his match sharpness in readiness for playing on the ATP Tour. Marchenko will take on local wild card entry Giulio Zeppieri in the first round.
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— Illya Marchenko (@imarchello) February 14, 2021