Returning Murray feels like he’s starting from scratch

In the swing Cameron Norrie is through to the Atlanta Open semi-final after opponent Nick Kyrgios retired

In the swing Cameron Norrie is through to the Atlanta Open semi-final after opponent Nick Kyrgios retiredERIK S. LESSER

In the wee hours of Tuesday, Mackenzie McDonald was giving Andy Murray a run for his money during their Citi Open opener in Washington DC... until he made a costly gaffe.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray rallied for victory on Monday in his first hardcourt match since March of past year, defeating Mackenzie McDonald at the ATP Washington Open.

Andy Murray embarked on his second comeback as he won his first match since Eastbourne against American Mackenzie Macdonald in three tight sets.

"I made a few less mistakes, but I would like to play better tennis in the next match".

But a single break of serve in the sixth game of the second set was all it took for Harrison to pull level.

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In the next game at 30/30, when it appeared the American had an easy putaway volley to earn a game point, he was called for reaching over the net, giving the Scot break point.

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.

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

The 31-year-old also tightened up at key moments in the match, needing seven match point opportunities before finally crossing the finish line.

Murray went on to take the next three games and the set from there and he started the much better player and the more likely in the final set as signs started to look more promising for the three-time Grand Slam champion.

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Neither player managed a service break, but Kokkanakis had a break chance at 4-5 in the second set when he could have put the match away. McDonald had 20 unforced errors in the second set, six more than Murray.

"I started off the match serving very poorly", he said.

"I was struggling on my serve". Former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka was set to face American Donald Young right after Murray's match. Finishing 2016 ranked number one in the world, Murray held that ranking for eight weeks.

Murray's first hardcourt match in almost 17 months turned when he broke in the penultimate game of the second set and again on his fifth break chance in the opening game of the third set.

Tunisia's Malek Jaziri booked a second-round match against third-ranked defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany by defeating Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1.

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Noah Rubin, United States, def. Mikhail Youzhny, Russia, 6-4, 6-4.

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