Andy Murray was quick to comfort a young fan who was left crying during his Aix-en-Provence semi-final clash on Saturday. A child in the stands was hit by a serve and the fifth seed went over to make sure he was alright, high-fiving the spectator and bringing him a gift to cheer him up. Murray went on to defeat Harold Mayot 7-5 6-1 to reach his first clay final in seven years.
Murray produced an impressive performance to advance to the Open du Pays d’Aix final with a victory over French lucky loser Mayot. Deep in the first set with the Brit serving at 5-5, he fired down an ace to start the game before realising that the ball had struck a child.
Mayot was first to approach the crying kid as he was on the same side of the court, and Murray quickly crossed over to check on the young fan after seeing what had happened. The child was being comforted by who appeared to be their father and Murray approached him, bringing a wristband from his bag as a gift.
The fifth seed in Aix-en-Provence also high-fived the youngster before returning to his side of the court to serve. Following the incident, Murray dropped just one more game for the rest of the match as he broke the world No 241 to take the opener 7-5.
He then stormed to take a 5-0 lead and had two match points on the lucky loser’s serve but was unable to convert them. After fielding break points in the next game, Murray saved them to close out a 7-5 6-1 victory.
The world No 52 is now through to his first clay final at any level since the 2016 French Open, and will be bidding to win his first title on the dirt since the Rome Masters in the same year. Murray will also return to the world’s top 50 when the rankings update on Monday.
He will face top seed Tommy Paul for the trophy on Sunday, having lost their only previous meeting at the 2021 Stockholm Open – with the American going on to win the tournament for his first title.
Murray took a wildcard into Aix-en-Provence following an early exit at the Madrid Open, where he lost to Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori. The three-time Major champion was seeking his first win on clay this season after another loss in the first round of Monte Carlo to Alex de Minaur, and has now earned four in a row.