Andy Murray wins 1st match in 9 months; men’s tennis returns

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Andy Murray wore a coronavirus-conscious masks on his strategy to the atypical, no-spectators atmosphere and have shyed away from handshakes when he left. In between, the three-time Grand Slam champion presented his same old mixture of hustling and muttering. Murray’s first match in 9 months as he resumes his climb again from two hip operations got here on the first ATP match for somebody in 5 months, a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-1 victory over Frances Tiafoe on the Western & Southern Open on Saturday.

The men’s tennis excursion were suspended since March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic; the resumption got here at a hard-court match moved from its house in Ohio to the website of the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 31.

Murray moved right into a second-round take a look at in opposition to No. Five seed Alexander Zverev. Other males advancing Saturday integrated No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime, two-time Grand Slam runner-up Kevin Anderson, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka. Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion, was once scheduled to stand Denis Shapovalov at night time.

“To have no sound during the whole match, it was really odd,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime, the primary winner of an ATP match since March, 6-4, 6-1 in opposition to Nikoloz Basilashvili. “Obviously, we’re used to it in practice, but now it’s an important match, it’s a Masters 1000, and to have nobody, to have no crowd, it feels weird.”

The ladies’s excursion returned previous this month, and amongst Saturday’s first-round effects was once No. 13 seed Maria Sakkari’s 6-1, 6-Three win over 16-year-old Coco Gauff, whilst No. 9 Elena Rybakina was once eradicated via Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 7-6 (6). The winners integrated Victoria Azarenka, whilst Venus Williams confronted Dayana Yastremska at night time.

Murray had surgical operation on his hip in January 2018, and once more in January 2019, and whilst returned to motion later closing yr, a pelvic downside averted him from enjoying initially of 2020.

There had been stretches in opposition to Tiafoe the place the previous No. 1-ranked guy seemed as though he’d by no means left, together with when Murray erased a 5-2 hollow in the tiebreaker to take hold of six of that set’s closing seven issues, capped via a down-the-line forehand passing shot.

After Tiafoe was once higher in the second one set, Murray briefly regained keep an eye on. He broke for a 2-Zero edge in the 3rd with some vintage scrambling protection on a 13-stroke alternate till Tiafoe flubbed a volley.

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