Murray wins first match in Washington since tearful 2018 appearance

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Three-times Grand Slam champion Andy Murray showed he is still relishing competition at the elite level after battling to his first victory at the Washington Open since his tearful pullout ahead of the 2018 quarter-finals due to exhaustion.

The 36-year-old former world number one recovered from 2-5 in the opening set tiebreak to defeat American Brandon Nakashima 7-6(5) 6-4 on Wednesday and will take on home favourite and top seed Taylor Fritz in the third round.

Murray was on the comeback trail from hip surgery when he was forced to withdraw from the tournament five years ago after another comeback win over Marius Copil in a match that ended with the fatigued Scot sobbing into a towel.

“Yeah, 2018 was a pretty tough tournament for me. Mentally and physically. I was in a terrible place,” said Murray, who had further surgery on his troublesome hip in 2019 and has since resurrected his career.

“To be back here like five years after that when, you know, I didn’t really want to play anymore … I was getting really not much enjoyment after that. I won some amazing matches that week but I felt awful.

“I wasn’t able to enjoy the wins, because I couldn’t sleep in the evenings after matches because of my hip and everything. It’s nice to be back not having any of those issues and being pain-free and still competing at a high level.

“It’s been a long, long journey these last four-five years. But happy to still be going.”

World number 44 Murray, who lost his Wimbledon second-round match to Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets last month, is gearing up for the U.S. Open which begins on Aug. 28.