Andy Murray makes profitable return at eerie Western and Southern Open

Toronto, August 23

Andy Murray claimed a hard-fought 7-6(6) 3-6 6-1 first-round win over American Frances Tiafoe on the Western and Southern Open on Saturday, because the ATP Tour made a jarring return from a five-month COVID-19 hiatus.

From a match usually performed in Cincinnati however moved to New York due to the coronavirus pandemic to masked ball girls and boys, there was little or no regular in regards to the return {of professional} males’s tennis.

With no spectators allowed into the sprawling Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, matches have been performed in eerie silence underneath the shadow of large Arthur Ashe Stadium that will probably be heart stage when the US Open begins on Aug. 31.

Working his method again to match health after present process a second hip surgical procedure in January, Murray received his first match of 2020 off to a constructive begin by surviving a close to two-hour and 30-minute problem from Tiafoe to achieve the second spherical the place a sterner check awaits in fifth seed Alexander Zverev.

“My goal is to come in and my hip to be feeling good,” stated three-times Grand Slam champion Murray.

“That’s what I wanted so I don’t mind how much tennis I get to play, I know that will come the practice, the more matches I get but the concern for me is my hip going to be well enough,” the 33-year-old Briton added.

If Murray’s sport confirmed rust his battling instincts remained sharp, notably within the first set tiebreak when he trailed 5-2 earlier than combating again to take management.

Tiafoe secured his solely break to go up 5-Four within the second on the best way to leveling the match however Murray, twice Western and Southern champion, broke the younger American on the first alternative within the third and closed out victory.

Women’s play started with a rematch of the Shenzhen ultimate in January and one other upset as Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova toppled ninth seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 7-5 7-6(6).

Croatian 15th seed Donna Vekic was additionally a first-round casualty, falling 6-2 6-Three to twice Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

The match additionally misplaced certainly one of its marquee names when 13th- seeded Greek Maria Sakkari dispatched Coco Gauff 6-1 6-Three to spoil the 16-year-old American’s Western and Southern debut.

After a run to the Lexington semi-finals final week Gauff was put underneath strain by her Greek opponent, committing 24 unforced errors and hitting solely six winners. Reuters

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