Andy Murray wastes little time in defeating Yannick Maden in Open Blot Rennes first round

Andy Murray has begun his Open Blot Rennes campaign with a comfortable straight-sets victory over Yannick Maden.

Andy Murray has dropped down to the Challenger Tour this week.

Murray, currently ranked 116 in the world, decided to play the Challenger Tour event this week to get some much-needed match practice ahead of the indoor European swing.

The Scot was handed a favourable first-round draw against the German, who is ranked 240 in the world, and he wasted little time in defeating him, chalking up a 6-3, 6-1 win in just 74 minutes.

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Murray is the fifth seed for the tournament in the north-western French city of Rennes and the favourite to land the tournament, despite the presence of top home players such as Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon.

The 34-year-old, three-times major champion suffered an early break of serve to his 31-year-old counterpart, but responded straight away to break back himself in the very next game. He broke Maden’s serve once more in the eighth game, going on to win the set 6-3.

The second set was a much quicker affair, Murray breaking his opponent’s serve three times to close it out 6-1.

The Scot will now face either French qualifier Manuel Guinard (World No 276) or Russia’s Roman Safiullin (World No 158) in the second round on Wednesday. He is seeded to play Gasquet, the top seed and who he beat recently in Winston Salem, in the quarter-finals.

Just two weeks ago, Murray lost to fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open in the first round in a five-set thriller, which has raised hopes that he will be able to be competitive on the main tour.