Tennis: Andy Murray Battles To First ATP Singles Win In Nine Months

Former world number one Andy Murray earned his first ATP tour singles victory in nearly nine months with a 6-3 6-7(6) 6-1 victory over American Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Zhuhai Championships in China.

Murray, whose last win on the tour came in Brisbane prior to the Australian Open had won two matches on the lower-level Challenger Tour at the Rafa Nadal Open at the end of last month as part of his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery.

He had also claimed victory in doubles tournaments, including both men’s and mixed at Wimbledon before he began playing singles competitions at the beginning of August.

Defeating the world number 69 showed progress from Murray having lost to the same man in North Carolina in August.

“After the operation in January it’s been difficult and it was undecided at times about whether I wanted to keep going or not,” Murray told reporters after claiming his first win on the tour since a hip resurfacing procedure that threatened to end his career prematurely.

“But I’m really glad that I can actually get the win today and hopefully I’ll be able to keep going.

“Tonight I was hitting the ball well, movement was I think pretty good… I served well. Obviously there’s things that I feel I can do better, but it was definitely progress.

“Now I’m tired and fatigued. [My] muscles are tired from playing the match, but in terms of how my hip feels, that feels really good.”

The 32-year-old fired 13 aces and did not face a single break point in the match and although he missed the opportunity of a match point in the second-set tie-break, he regrouped to race through the decider and complete victory in two hours and 41 minutes in humid conditions.

The Scot, now ranked 413, will play Australian world number 31 and seventh seed Alex de Minaur in the second round.