Murray tests hip, comes back to edge McDonald in Washington
Washington: Andy Murray let out one yell, then another, and violently pumped his right fist. Quite a reaction, considering this was merely a first-round victory over an inexperienced opponent who recently cracked the top 100 for the first time.
Still, this meant something to Murray. It was a test of his surgically repaired hip, and he put aside a deficit and some real rust to win his first hard-court match in nearly 1 years, coming back at the Citi Open to edge Mackenzie McDonald of the US 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
"I enjoyed getting through that one obviously, you see by the celebration," Murray said after a match that began a little past 10 pm on Monday because of a rain delay, and ended at 12:45 am on Tuesday.
"It was great to get through that one," he said, "but in terms of the actual way that I went about the match and played the match, I wasn't that happy with it." There were stretches when Murray looked very much like exactly what he is at the moment: a guy working his back from an operation in January. Particularly when he was failing to convert any of the five match points he held while serving for the win at 5-4 in the final set. He won on his seventh, though.
Murray is a former No. 1 who owns two Wimbledon trophies plus another from the US Open. But he's ranked just 832nd now, on account of so much time away. He sat out the second half of last season because of the bad hip, and then didn't compete this year until June. This match was only Murray's fourth of 2018. No. 5 will come in the second round of the Citi Open against Kyle Edmund, the man who overtook him as Britain's top-ranked man during Murray's injury absence.