Washington Open: Andy Murray fights back from set down to make triumphant hardcourt return against Mackenzie McDonald

After undergoing surgery in January, it finally seems like three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray is back to top form, beating Mackenzie McDonald in the Washington Open.

Agence France-Presse July 31, 2018 12:27:15 IST
Washington Open: Andy Murray fights back from set down to make triumphant hardcourt return against Mackenzie McDonald

Washington: Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray rallied for victory on Monday in his first hardcourt match since March of last year, defeating Mackenzie McDonald at the ATP Washington Open.

Washington Open Andy Murray fights back from set down to make triumphant hardcourt return against Mackenzie McDonald

Andy Murray has struggled after returning from injury and opted not to play in Wimbledon due to a lack of fitness. AP

Former world number one Murray, still struggling after ending an 11-month right hip injury layoff in June, needed seven match points to subdue the 80th-ranked American 3-6, 6-4, 7-5. The 31-year-old Scotsman, now 832nd in the rankings, booked a second-round match against British fourth seed Kyle Edmund, who had an opening bye.

After making his return from hip surgery last month at Queens and Eastbourne, Murray skipped Wimbledon and began preparing for the hardcourt campaign. His lone win on grasscourts came over Swiss Stan Wawrinka, another three-time Grand Slam winner fighting back from injury.

Wawrinka, the world number 198 coming back from a left knee injury that kept him out nearly eight of the past 11 months, was set to face US qualifier Donald Young in a later match.

Murray's first hardcourt match in nearly 17 months turned when he broke in the penultimate game of the second set and again on his fifth break chance in the opening game of the third set. 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.

At 30-30 in the 11th game, McDonald stuck his racquet over the net to play the ball, losing the point on a violation quickly called by French umpire Arnaud Gabas. McDonald then hit a forehand long to give Murray another chance to serve for the match. Murray made the most of it when McDonald hit a forehand long to end matters at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday after two hours and 37 minutes.

Rain postponed Murray's start by more than three hours but he began strong, breaking in the second game for a 2-0 lead. McDonald's ninth unforced error, a netted backhand, surrendered the break. But the American responded by winning six of the next seven games to capture the opening set in 40 minutes.

One of Murray's four first-set double faults surrendered a break in the third game and Murray's seventh consecutive lost second-serve point gave McDonald a 3-2 edge when the American hit a forehand winner. McDonald rallied from 0-30 down to hold for a 5-3 lead and broke again for the set when Murray sent a backhand crosscourt shot wide.

Murray, who won only five-of-15 second-serve points in the first set, broke to open the second set but swatted an ugly forehand well wide to surrender a break in the next game, slamming a ball to the court in frustration at what should have been a routine shot.

Both held serve until the ninth game, when McDonald sent a forehand wide to hand Murray the break and a 5-4 lead. Murray held on a service winner to force a third set. McDonald had 20 unforced errors in the second set, six more than Murray.

Tunisia's Malek Jaziri booked a second-round match against third-ranked defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany by defeating Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1. US wild card Noah Rubin beat Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4 to reach a second-round match against US second seed John Isner.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Zverev edges past Harris to reach Cologne Open semi-finals; Rublev advances to last four at St Petersburg open
Sports

Zverev edges past Harris to reach Cologne Open semi-finals; Rublev advances to last four at St Petersburg open

Hard-serving American Reilly Opelka, who beat defending champion Daniil Medvedev at St Petersburg Open on Thursday, was beaten by the seventh-seeded Borna Coric 7-6 (3), 6-3 in their quarterfinal.

Cologne Championship: Zverev advances to quarter-finals after beating Millman; Auger-Aliassime beats Gerasimov
Sports

Cologne Championship: Zverev advances to quarter-finals after beating Millman; Auger-Aliassime beats Gerasimov

Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime recovered from losing the first set to seal a 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4) second-round win over Egor Gerasimov of Belarus late on Wednesday.

Cologne Championship: Alexander Zverev brushes off hip injury to overcome Jannik Sinner, set to face Diego Schwartzman in final
Sports

Cologne Championship: Alexander Zverev brushes off hip injury to overcome Jannik Sinner, set to face Diego Schwartzman in final

Zverev, 23, avenged his defeat earlier in October in the last 16 of the French Open against 19-year-old Sinner by claiming a 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 win over the wildcard entry.