A resilient Andy Murray returns to action with win in New York

Scot sees off Frances Tiafoe at Western & Southern Open in first ATP appearance since November
Andy Murray serves to Frances Tiafoe. Picture: Frank Franklin II/APAndy Murray serves to Frances Tiafoe. Picture: Frank Franklin II/AP
Andy Murray serves to Frances Tiafoe. Picture: Frank Franklin II/AP

Andy Murray battled his way to a hard-fought win over Frances Tiafoe on his first ATP Tour appearance since November.

Murray, competing in his 100th Masters 1000 event at the Western & Southern Open, overcame American wildcard Tiafoe 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-1.

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The New York tournament is serving as a warm-up event for players ahead of the US Open, which begins on 31 August.

And Murray had a sound work-out last night after being hit by hip problems before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport.

The first set went with serve and the three-time grand slam winner had to save a break point in the 11th game.

Tiafoe, pictured inset, was then on top in the tie-break, leading 5-2 before Murray fought back to level. Murray saved a set-point at 5-6 and won the next two points to strike an advantage.

The second set followed a similar tight pattern until Tiafoe broke to make it 5-3 and served out to level the match. But it proved a false dawn for the American as Murray called on all his renowned resilience.

The Scot dominated the third set and completed his win in two hours and 28 minutes to secure a last-32 date with Alexander Zverev.

Kyle Edmund lost a titanic first-round battle against Kevin Anderson.

Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam runner-up, prevailed 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 in a contest which was just a minute short of three hours.

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This was the third meeting between the pair – the score tied at 1-1 – and the South African had used a protected ranking to play after being sidelined by several injuries.

The first set was a see-saw affair with British star Edmund racing into a 2-0 lead before Anderson fought back.

Edmund then broke for a 4-2 lead and served for the first set at 5-3. But Anderson hit back and, having trailed 3-1 in the tie-break, reeled off six successive points to take the first set.

Edmund fought back to level after breaking Anderson’s serve in the fifth game of the second set.

Anderson had to call for a physio in the deciding set when 3-2 ahead, but broke to make it 5-3 and served out 
the final game to reach the last 32.

Qualifier Cameron Norrie lost 6-3, 6-4 to American Reilly Opelka, who survived a break point against him in the final game.

Heather Watson suffered a second successive first-round defeat in the ladies’ singles after her Top Seed Open loss to Jennifer Brady earlier this month.

Bernarda Pera won the first meeting between the two players 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 after staging a fine final-set comeback.

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British No.2 Watson was a break up in the decider to lead the American left-hander 3-2. But big-hitting Pera rattled off the final four games to win in one hour and 44 minutes and progress to the last 32.

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