Washington: Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray moved closer to a singles comeback six months after hip surgery, joining brother Jamie for a doubles victory Wednesday at the ATP Washington Open.
The Murrays, partnered for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics, downed Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-7, 10-5 in a first-round match at the US Open tune-up event.
The British duo trailed 5-2 in the decisive super-tiebreaker but steamrollered back by taking the last eight points, Jamie Murray’s service winner securing the victory.
It was Andy who began the rally with a backhand winner and added backhand volley and drop volley winners on the two penultimate points.
Andy Murray is practising singles and playing doubles as the former world No. 1, now ranked 222, continues his fightback from hip surgery in January.
The 32-year-old Scotsman feared he could be forced into retirement before the operation. He returned to the court in June but only in doubles while he rehabilitates.
Thus far, his hip has responded better than expected, Murray declaring Monday he was “quite close” to a singles comeback, perhaps as soon as Cincinnati in two weeks.
An argumentative Nick Kyrgios hammered 24 aces in a dominating service display to defeat Gilles Simon 6-4, 7-6 in the second round of the singles.
The 24-year-old Australian offered his critique of the chair umpire’s performance before match point and continued to provide his thoughts following the conclusion of the match.
Kyrgios will next face Yoshihito Nishioka, a 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 winner over seventh-seeded David Goffin.
Top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas was tested in his first match of the tournament by Tommy Paul but held on to dispatch the American 6-3, 7-5.
“He played very aggressive tennis and was more unpredictable than players I have faced in the past,” Tsitsipas said.
Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime topped big-serving American Reilly Opelka to reach the round of 16 in his first main draw appearance at the tournament thanks to his stout defence.
Rising Australian Jordan Thompson, top-ranked American John Isner and hard-hitting Canadian Milos Raonic also won their second-round matches.
On the women’s side Kristina Mladenovic held on to defeat 17-year-old American Hailey Baptiste 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a hard-fought evening match to punch her ticket to the third round.
Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya and Americans Lauren Davis and Jessica Pegula also advanced.