Murray gets set for hardcourt return in Washington Open

Grant SmithAug 03, 2018

Andy Murray was triumphant in the first round of the Washington Open, but made hard work of beating world No 77 Mackenzie McDonald.

Andy Murray embarked on his second comeback as he won his first match since Eastbourne against American Mackenzie Macdonald in three tight sets.

The Scot will play Masters events in Toronto and Cincinnati prior to the fourth and final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open in August, and will take part in the China Open beginning on October 1.

"I made a few less mistakes, but I would like to play better tennis in the next match".

McDonald deserved the opening set by breaking Murray in two of his three service games and Murray was still searching for that match sharpness, a stronger second serve and the length of his ground-strokes was troubling him at times. Murray, whose best Washington finish was a runner-up effort in his 2006 debut, served for the match in the 10th game but squandered five match points, four of them on errors, and McDonald broke back to 5-5 when Murray netted a forehand to end the 12-minute game.

After making his return from January hip surgery last month at Queens and Eastbourne, Murray skipped Wimbledon and began preparing for the hardcourt campaign.

Murray, whose world ranking has dropped to 832, broke in the ninth game of the second set to take a 5-4 lead and served out to take the match to a decider.

After a number of early setbacks in his struggle with his hip there were suggestions Murray could call quits on his career but the two-time Olympic gold medallist says he always planned to come back even if he had fleeting thoughts of retirement.

Murray was discussing Serena Williams' recent comments, after the 23-time Grand Slam champion said she was being "discriminated" by being tested more often than other players. I started off the match serving very poorly. Getting matches under his belt by playing several tournaments also seems to be a good decision, as winning titles so soon seems to be unlikely.

That seems to have disturbed his momentum as he conceded the game before Murray held on to one of his own before going on to win 3-6 6-4 7-5.

He walked awkwardly around the court between points, especially in the lengthy third set when at one point he grabbed his hamstring and winced in pain. Rubin now faces No. 2 seed John Isner, Jaziri plays No. 1 seed and defending champion Alexander Zverev, while Smyczek meets Zverev's older brother, No. 15 seed Mischa.

USA wild card Noah Rubin beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4 to reach a second-round match against United States second seed John Isner.

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