A mere eight months after his hip surgery, Andy Murray recorded a spectacular win in the first round of the Zhuhai Championships to set up a meeting with Alex di Minaur.
Murray, the former world. No.1 slipped to 413, starting the year off at 230 due to a hip resurfacing surgery he underwent in January. Murray returned to singles tennis at the Cincinnati Masters in August. He recorded his first singles victory at the Rafa Nadal Open and the first Tour-level singles win at Zhuhai yesterday.
The Brit had a first round meeting with Tennys Sandgren, who defeated Murray in their last meeting at the Winston-Salem Open around a month ago.
Two hours and 41 minutes later, Murray beat Sandgren 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1.
After his win, Murray said:
“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’s game has improved with each match that he has played since his return.
“… was definitely progress. I don’t know whether that’s five per cent, 10 per cent, it’s difficult to put a number on it, but I think I did a little bit better tonight than I did when we played a few weeks ago, and that’s a good thing.”
To condition his body to play tennis at this level, Murray has committed to playing as many matches he can play before the end of the season.
Murray will face seventh seed, Alex de Minaur in the second round on Thursday. The Brit acknowledged he was glad to have a rest day before his round two match as he felt quite “tired” after his round one match.
He will need his full strength to fight against de Minaur who has been in good form this year, securing two ATP titles at Sydney International and Atlanta Open.
After Zhuhai, Murray is scheduled to play at tournaments in Beijing, Shanghai, and Antwerp to end the season.