Andy Murray wore a coronavirus-conscious masks on his solution to the bizarre, no-spectators setting and averted handshakes when he left. In between, the three-time Grand Slam champion supplied his common 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 anybody in 5 months, a 7-6 (6), 6-3, 6-1 victory over Frances Tiafoe on the Western & Southern Open on Saturday.
The lads’s tennis tour had been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic; the resumption got here at a hard-court occasion moved from its dwelling in Ohio to the positioning of the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31.
Murray moved right into a second-round take a look at towards No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev. Different males advancing Saturday included 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 scheduled to face Denis Shapovalov at evening.
“To haven’t any sound throughout the entire match, it was actually odd,” mentioned Auger-Aliassime, the primary winner of an ATP match since March, 6-4, 6-1 towards Nikoloz Basilashvili. “Clearly, we’re used to it in apply, however now it’s an necessary match, it’s a Masters 1000, and to have no one, to haven’t any crowd, it feels bizarre.”
The ladies’s tour returned earlier this month, and amongst Saturday’s first-round outcomes was No. 13 seed Maria Sakkari’s 6-1, 6-Three win over 16-year-old Coco Gauff, whereas No. 9 Elena Rybakina was eradicated by Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-5, 7-6 (6). The winners included Victoria Azarenka, whereas Venus Williams confronted Dayana Yastremska at evening.
Murray had surgical procedure on his hip in January 2018, and once more in January 2019, and whereas returned to motion later final yr, a pelvic downside prevented him from enjoying in the beginning of 2020.
There have been stretches towards Tiafoe the place the previous No. 1-ranked man regarded as if he’d by no means left, together with when Murray erased a 5-2 gap within the tiebreaker to seize six of that set’s final seven factors, capped by a down-the-line forehand passing shot.
After Tiafoe was higher within the second set, Murray rapidly regained management. He broke for a 2-Zero edge within the third with some traditional scrambling protection on a 13-stroke change till Tiafoe flubbed a volley.