Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021

Andy Murray claimed a challenging-fought seven-six(six) three-six six-one to start with-round win more than American Frances Tiafoe at the Western and Southern Open on Saturday, as the ATP Tour produced a jarring return from a 5-month COVID-19 hiatus.

From a tournament generally played in Cincinnati but moved to New York since of the coronavirus pandemic to masked ball boys and women, there was extremely small usual about the return of specialist men’s tennis.

With no spectators permitted into the sprawling Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Center, matches had been played in eerie silence below the shadow of the huge Arthur Ashe Stadium that will be centerstage when the U.S. Open begins on Aug. 31.

Doing work his way back to match fitness right after undergoing a 2nd hip surgical procedure in January, Murray received his to start with tournament of 2020 off to a beneficial start out by surviving a close to two-hour, thirty-minute challenge from Tiafoe to attain the 2nd round in which a sterner check awaits in fifth seed Alexander Zverev.

“My purpose is to come in and my hip to be feeling great,” mentioned 3-occasions Grand Slam champion Murray.

“That’s what I needed so I really do not thoughts how significantly tennis I get to perform, I know that will come the practice, the extra matches I get but the concern for me is my hip going to be nicely adequate,” the 33-12 months-previous Briton extra.

If Murray’s game showed rust, his battling instincts remained sharp, specifically in the to start with set tiebreak when he trailed five-two just before fighting back to consider management.

Tiafoe secured his only break to go up five-four in the 2nd on the way to leveling the match but Murray, twice Western and Southern champion, broke the younger American at the to start with chance in the third and closed out victory.

Canadian 12th seed Denis Shapovalov showed small rust in his to start with tournament given that February as he reeled off 9 aces to dispose of 2016 champion Marin Cilic six-three six-three.

With the win, Shapovalov, who faced just one particular break stage more than the program of the contest, enhanced his head-to-head record towards the Croatian to three-one.

Massive-serving Canadian Milos Raonic fired 19 aces to topple Sam Querrey six-four six-four and set up a 2nd-round clash with both Dan Evans or Russian 10th seed Andrey Rublev.

Women’s perform started with a rematch of the Shenzhen last in January and an additional upset as Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova toppled ninth seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan seven-five seven-six(six).

Croatian 15th seed Donna Vekic was also a to start with-round casualty, falling six-two six-three to twice Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

The tournament also misplaced one particular of its marquee names when 13th- seeded Greek Maria Sakkari dispatched Coco Gauff six-one six-three to spoil the sixteen-12 months-previous American’s Western and Southern debut.

Immediately after a run to the Lexington semi-finals final week Gauff was place below strain by her Greek opponent, committing 24 unforced mistakes and hitting only 6 winners.

Amanda Anisimova eased to a six-three six-three victory in an all-American clash towards 11th seed Alison Riske, whilst 7-time Slam champion Venus Williams was an additional substantial-profile casualty as she fell to Ukrainian 16th seed Dayana Yastremska five-seven six-two seven-five.

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