Andy Murray beats Mackenzie McDonald in Washington Open

Andy Murray

The Scot tested his surgically repaired hip by putting aside a deficit and some real rust to win his first hard-court match in almost 1 1/2 years, coming back for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory at the Citi Open against the 80th-ranked American.

"I feel better than I did during the grass".

"It could have gone either way".

"It's not where I want to be ranking wise but the good thing is that when you are right up at the top of the game, it's not easy just to move up one spot", Murray said. "I cut the unforced errors a little bit in the second set and started serving better". If I stay fit and healthy, I'll play more against the best players and that will improve my fitness. I wasn't hitting the ball that cleanly.

"I fought hard and I had to", Murray said.

"Pumped to be back in the big W. Got to be careful what you say around these parts nowadays though #freespeech #fakenews", wrote Murray in his comment.

The ex-world number one was broken in two of his first three service games as he lost the first set before levelling and taking a 73-minute final set.

He looked in trouble but found new life when McDonald sent a forehand wide to hand Murray a break and a 5-4 advantage in the second set. I've only played three matches in the past year, so I'm just trying to get back on the match court as much as I can and see how I'm feeling after playing two, three, four, five matches in a week. "If I only play one or two tournaments and then take a break for a month, it's just hard to get into that routine", Murray said.

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After making his return from January hip surgery last month at Queens and Eastbourne, Murray skipped Wimbledon and began preparing for the hardcourt campaign.

It was Murray's first experience with a serve clock, which will be used at the US Open this year.

Next up for Murray is countryman Kyle Edmund, who he will face on Wednesday.

"Without a shot clock, that would have been a three-hour match", Murray said.

"I was struggling on my serve".

"At the time I didn't feel like I was quite ready to play five-set matches", the Scot said.

In other matches, Noah Rubin got past Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4, Tim Smyczek beat Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (4), 6-2, and Malek Jaziri defeated Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1.

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