Wimbledon-bound Michael Russell lifts Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament title after beating Junior French Open winner Andrey Rublev

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American veteran Michael Russell was crowned the 2014 Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament men’s champion following a hard-fought win over 16-year-old Russian Andrey Rublev.

In a match which lasted almost two hours Russell claimed the first set 6-4. But the 2014 Junior French Open champion Rublev bounced back in the second set, taking Russell to a tie-break and winning 7-5.

A tie-break set was required to decide the champion and it was Russell who came out on top, the 36-year-old just getting over the line.

For Russell, who is using the tournament as a warm-up for Wimbledon next week, Rublev was a stern test.

“He has a massive forehand,” he said. “He is definitely a star for the future. Liverpool has been a fantastic place to play tennis, the crowds have been magnificent and I want to thank Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool City Council and Anders Borg for holding this incredible event.

“This is the way to increase involvement in the sport, giving kids the chance to see top stars, legends and future champions in action.”

Tickets for Sunday’s Legends Day can still be purchased at the box office by cash/cheque until 6pm today and from 10am on Sunday morning.

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