Andy Murray advanced to the second round at the European Open with a straight-sets win over Kimmer Coppejans.

The former world number one triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to win a match in two sets for just the second time since August.

He was made to work hard by Coppejans, who broke Murray three times in total, including in his first two service games in the second set, but the Briton eventually prevailed in an hour and 45 minutes.

Seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff dropped just three games in beating Gregoire Barrere, while Gilles Simon and Feliciano Lopez were among the other players to advance.

At the Kremlin Cup, home hope Andrey Rublev overcame Alexander Bublik 6-1 3-6 6-4.

After taking the opener, Rublev then lost the first five games in a row en route to losing the second set and the sixth seed was a break down in the decider only to rally and progress.

Ivo Karlovic staved off a match point and won a third-set tie-break against Aljaz Bedene to progress, along with Jeremy Chardy and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Nicolas Jarry and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

Pablo Carreno Busta was the only seed in action at the Stockholm Open and he defeated John Millman 6-4 6-3, with Sam Querrey among those to also go through.

Andy Murray believes there is an outside chance he can return to the top of men's tennis, though his more pressing priority is the latest addition to his growing family.

Murray's wife Kim is expecting their third child this month and the latest stage of his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery at the European Open in Antwerp will be put on hold if the baby arrives early.

The three-time grand slam champion and former world number one has impressed in recent events and saw off a top-20 player in Matteo Berrettini at the China Open, though he lost in the quarter-finals to Dominic Thiem.

A thrilling second-round defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters provided more reasons for optimism and the Australian Open confirmed Murray will be in the field at the first grand slam of 2020.

Having previously said it would be naive to expect him to return to his best, Murray provided a more upbeat projection of what the future may hold in an interview with The Times.

"I am surprised with how smooth it has been," Murray said of his comeback. "I had two years of having lots of pain after every single match. Now I play a match, the body hurts, I have some pain in my back, the muscles are tired and things like that, but my hip is fine and I couldn't remember what that was like before.

"It has been hard but I expected it to be quite a bumpy road because it wasn't something that has been done in tennis before. I know having done this that you will see way more athletes having this operation and coming back to compete, because there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to.

"There is no pain. The range of motion is the one thing that is a bit limited in some sports. I don't know if there are some sports in which that is more important than tennis. But it is great.

"I have been competitive so far. If I can keep improving a few things over the next few months, then maybe there is an outside chance I can get around there [the top of the sport]. But I am not going to be playing a similar schedule to what I played beforehand.

"If I do get up there, I'm not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.

"Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it's not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago.

"I now know that it’s not important where or when I end my career. If I had another hip injury, I probably wouldn't keep going. I wouldn't want to do another six or seven months or rehab, because I feel I pretty much had two years of it.

"My hip could break and that would be it. I would be finished if that happened. But there is no sign of that happening any time soon. It seems to be getting stronger all the time."

On how the imminent arrival of his third child could alter his plans for the coming week in Belgium, Murray said: "Obviously the baby can come any time from pretty much next week.

"I would adjust my schedule if I couldn't go to Antwerp. My plan is to play Antwerp and then I am done through to the Davis Cup [in November]. If the baby came early, I would miss Antwerp and then maybe play at the Paris Masters [starting October 26]."

An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

Roger Federer began his Shanghai Masters campaign with a comfortable victory, but Andy Murray suffered defeat in a tense encounter with Fabio Fognini.

Federer had only featured at the Laver Cup since the US Open yet made relatively light work of Albert Ramos Vinolas.

Murray, meanwhile, succumbed to Fognini in a three-set match which included a heated exchange in the deciding set.

Last season's runner up Borna Coric fell to Andrey Rublev, while third seed Daniil Medvedev beat Cameron Norrie in straight sets.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic will go up against Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday, though got into his groove at the tournament with victory in the doubles alongside compatriot Filip Krajinovic.

FEDERER MAKES TRIUMPHANT RETURN

World number three Federer decided to skip most of the Asian swing, though he did not need to be at his sharpest when he took on Ramos Vinolas, who had defeated him at the event in 2015.

The 20-time grand slam champion - who struggled with a back issue in his US Open defeat to Grigor Dimitrov - showed no sign of injury in a 6-2 7-6 (7-5) win on Tuesday, though he did make 31 unforced errors.

"I got out the blocks quick, played a good match," Federer said. "Ramos had his chances in that tie-break up 4-1, that was a nice comeback there."

Federer's reward is a third-round tie with either David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin.

MURRAY GOES DOWN FIGHTING

The former world number one made it to the quarter-finals in Beijing last week, though did not have enough in the tank to overcome Fognini after squandering a chance to serve out for the win.

After failing to take his opportunity, Murray became embroiled in a spat with his opponent, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair.

Murray, who had broken for a 6-5 lead in the decider before losing his next service game, complained Fognini had called out during a rally.

When the Italian attempted to interrupt Murray's conversation with umpire Fergus Murphy, the Scot quickly shot him down, telling Fognini to "shut up". Eventually, though, Fognini had the last word, triumphing 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-2).

MEDVEDEV THROUGH, CORIC SENT PACKING

Having taken time off following his triumph at the St Petersburg Open, world number four Medvedev swiftly clicked into gear with a routine 6-3 6-1 win over Norrie.

Medvedev will take on Vasek Pospisil in round three, after the Canadian defeated Joao Sousa in straight sets. 

Coric - who lost to Medvedev in the St Petersburg final – was outdone by Rublev, who won 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Alex de Minaur, meanwhile, failed to build on his success at the Zhuhai Open last month. He slipped out to John Isner.

DJOKOVIC PLAYING IT SAFE WITH SHOULDER ISSUE

Djokovic starts his singles campaign against Shapovalov but took the chance to get into the swing of things as he partnered Krajinovic against Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.

The duo won 6-3 3-6 10-3 and will go up against Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in the next round, though Djokovic confirmed he has been nursing a shoulder problem, albeit one that is not preventing him from playing.

"It was just over the time, maybe the posture and the shoulder position and so forth that once we have now corrected that it appears to be fine," he told a news conference.

"But it still needs a couple of weeks to really get back and not be concerned about it. I don't feel pain playing but there is still being cautious about it and still working daily a lot on the preparation and rehab."

Andy Murray was involved in an angry exchange with Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday, telling his opponent to "shut up" on his way to a second-round defeat.

Former world number one Murray, continuing his return from hip resurfacing surgery, put up a valiant fight before going down 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) in a clash that lasted over three hours.

However, the match was more notable for an angry exchange during the changeover after Murray had broken for a 6-5 lead in the decider.

The Scot complained that Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had called out during a rally and Murray expressed his anger to umpire Fergus Murphy.

Murray repeatedly attempted to engineer conversation with Murphy, claiming "he [Fognini] does it to everyone". Fognini attempted to intervene but was told to "shut up" up by his opponent.

If anything, the exchange, appeared to disrupt Murray more as when he came out to serve for the match he was promptly broken before Fognini ran through the tie-break to advance.

Former world number one Andy Murray will play at the 2020 Australian Open in January, confirmed tournament director Craig Tiley.

The 2019 Australian Open appeared to be Murray's final appearance in Melbourne as the three-time grand slam champion revealed his retirement plans due to a troublesome hip problem.

Murray, however, underwent hip resurfacing surgery following the grand slam and has since returned to the ATP Tour following a comeback via doubles and the Challenger Tour.

Now, Murray – a five-time Australian Open runner-up – is set to feature at next year's event at Melbourne Park.

"For sure Andy will be here," Tiley told Melbourne radio station Triple M on Tuesday. "I was on the phone to his agent this morning. He is going to be in Australia early.

"He is ready to return. Remember he said goodbye a year ago. It's great in that period he had surgery and has rebounded really well."

Tiley was speaking after Murray reached the second round of the Shanghai Masters with a three-set win over Juan Ignacio Londero on Monday.

It has been a long road for Murray, who dropped down to the ATP Challenger Tour in August for the first time since 2005 in a bid to improve his fitness following surgery in January, which threatened to end his stellar career.

The Brit started a singles comeback at ATP Masters 1000 tournament the Western & Southern Open before making a swift exit from the Winston-Salem Open.

Murray – who played a series of high-profile doubles tournaments after teaming up with Serena Williams in the mixed event at Wimbledon – then opted to skip the US Open in New York.

A run to the China Open quarter-finals then followed for Murray last week and 20-time grand slam star Roger Federer hailed the 32-year-old's comeback.

"I saw Andy [Murray] briefly, don't know if it was yesterday or the day before now," Federer said. "It was great to see him again and great to chat to him a little bit. I'm just relieved that he's in the place that he's in right now.

"I saw him after the Bautista [Agut] match because I finished my match, he played that five-setter against him and I saw him in the locker room and just had a personal interest. I asked him 'what's up, if he was going and 'I'm sorry to ask you, I kind of want to know and I think the people want to know'. He said I don't know, and I know what I said, I said, but I think he just wanted to get better for his life in general.

"I think that's been achieved number one, I think that's the priority there. Number two that he's getting a shot again to be on the tour, and see how far he can go. How deep he can go at tournaments, I think it's super exciting for the tour, for us players, because he's very much a guy we like and respect a lot. He doesn't have enemies, we need guys like him also who lead by example with hard work and toughness and fairness.

"I love seeing Andy back, I feel like he's playing better and better, which is great. I think we're going to play him at the ATP Cup in the first match of the season too if I'm not mistaken. That should be fun, so I'm happy for Andy."

Three-set tussles have played a defining role in Andy Murray's comeback on the ATP Tour, and he had to come through another to see off Juan Ignacio Londero in reaching the second round of the Shanghai Masters.

Murray was impressive in making the quarter-finals of the China Open, where his run was ended by Dominic Thiem following a gruelling contest with compatriot Cameron Norrie in which the Scot appeared a spent force in the second set.

The former world number one, a three-time winner in Shanghai, needed to work just as hard to see off Londero, who won the first set but could not complete what would have been a memorable victory as Murray prevailed 2-6 6-2 6-3 in an engrossing battle.

As Murray continues to try to work his way back to the top of men's tennis, a rising star in the sport, Denis Shapovalov, set up an enticing second-round clash with Novak Djokovic by beating Frances Tiafoe.

Meanwhile, there was a surprise defeat for Marin Cilic, who was beaten in straight sets by Albert Ramos Vinolas.

 

MURRAY SCRAPS INTO THE SECOND ROUND

Three-time grand slam champion Murray was not shy about letting his frustration show as he was made to work extremely hard for his place in the second round by Londero.

Murray served poorly in the first set but found form in the second, though he rarely looked satisfied with his performance and shouted an expletive as he gave a break of serve back in the decider.

However, a searing cross-court forehand saw Murray break once more and he did not the let the initiative slip again, winning a match in which he seemed to battle himself as much as Londero in two hours and 17 minutes.

He had to save two break points to serve it out, securing a victory that books a meeting with Fabio Fognini, who overcame Sam Querrey in straight sets.

"I've always enjoyed playing here, I enjoy the faster conditions but it's a tricky one. Since I came back to play these are by far the fastest conditions I have played in and I struggled a bit with that early on, with my movement and stuff," Murray said.

"But it's nice to be back, nice to get the win and hopefully [I'll] start the next match a little bit quicker.

"I got better as the match went on so hopefully I'll be a bit better in the next match. I know what to expect, I know you can't hang back and let the opponent dictate. Try to be more aggressive.

"Fabio has had a great year, he's a very talented guy. I think he's playing for one of the last spots in London [ATP Finals] so I'm sure he'll be up for it. He played a very good match in the first round so it'll be a tough one."


SHAPOVALOV SET FOR DJOKO DUEL

Two players each expected to be future heavyweights met as Shapovalov faced Tiafoe, but it is the Canadian who is clearly further along in his development, and he provided evidence of that in a comfortable victory.

The world number 36 eased to a 6-4 6-2 win over the American, who won only two points against his opponent's first serve.

Shapovalov's win marked his first at the Masters 1000 tournament and means he will face world number one Djokovic for the third time this year.

Djokovic beat Shapovalov in four sets en route to winning the Australian Open and also defeated the 20-year-old in straight sets in Rome.


ROGER NEXT FOR RAMOS VINOLAS

Cilic would have faced Roger Federer in a rematch of the 2017 Wimbledon final had he seen off Ramos Vinolas​, but did not have a break point as he was defeated 6-4 6-4.

It will now be the Spaniard who takes on the 20-time grand slam champion, who is eyeing a third Shanghai title.

Ninth seed Gael Monfils needed three sets to progress in his opening-round match with Lorenzo Sonego and 15th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili went the distance in his triumph over Radu Albot, but Diego Schwartzman suffered a shock loss to Vasek Pospisil.

Pospisil's fellow qualifiers Norrie and Jeremy Chardy also reached the second round, coming through against Kyle Edmund and Gilles Simon respectively.

Elsewhere in the draw, there were wins for Taylor Fritz, Cristian Garin, Hubert Hurkacz, Benoit Paire, Mikhail Kukushkin and Joao Sousa.

Andy Murray has been handed a favourable draw at the Shanghai Masters, while Roger Federer could face a test in the second round.

Murray, continuing his comeback after hip surgery, accepted a wildcard into the ATP 1000 tournament, and the Brit will meet a qualifier in his opener.

The three-time grand slam champion will take on either Italian 10th seed Fabio Fognini or American Sam Querrey if he progresses.

Murray showed his form is improving by reaching the quarter-finals at the China Open, where he lost to top seed Dominic Thiem.

Federer, meanwhile, has a bye into the second round as the second seed, but the Swiss great could face Marin Cilic in his opening match.

Cilic, who has fallen to 30th in the rankings after a difficult year, takes on Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round.

World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic will face either Frances Tiafoe or Denis Shapovalov in the second round, while Stefanos Tsitsipas is in the Serbian's quarter.

Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament on Friday due to a wrist injury.

Andy Murray's hopes of making the China Open his first singles title since career-saving hip surgery are over after the Brit was swept aside 6-2 7-6 (7-3) in the quarter-finals by top seed Dominic Thiem.

Murray was featuring in his first last-eight match on the singles circuit this year and held his own for periods, but early breaks in both sets proved vital for Thiem.

The 26-year-old world number five broke Murray's serve in the very first game and generally looked untroubled when claiming the first set 6-2.

Thiem struck on his opponent's serve in the first game of the second set as well, but Murray showed spirit to fight back, breaking Thiem to level at 5-5.

But Murray's lack of consistency cost him in the tie-break, with Thiem completing victory to set up a semi-final against Karen Khachanov, who came through 3-6 6-3 6-1 against Fabio Fognini.

The other semi will be contested between Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas after they overcame American duo Sam Querrey and John Isner, respectively.

Second seed Zverev hammered Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday and, although Querrey put up a bit more of a fight, the German still progressed in straight sets, winning 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Tsitsipas was similarly commanding against the big-serving Isner, who had won the previous two contests including at Wimbledon 2018.

Neither broke serve in the first set, forcing a tie-break in which Tsitsipas prevailed, but the 21-year-old took charge in the second and ran out 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victor.

Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour singles quarter-final for a year at the expense of Cameron Norrie and will face Dominic Thiem in the China Open.

Murray consigned recent US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini to a first-round defeat in Beijing and battled his way past fellow British player Norrie 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 on day three.

The former world number one needed eight minutes short of three hours to win through, securing back-to-back tour-level singles successes for the first time since undergoing hip resurfacing in January.

Murray, winner of this tournament three years ago, said he felt the effects of playing two matches in as many days and welcomed the opportunity to put his feet up ahead of a showdown on Friday with world number five Thiem.

"I'm tired, I just had a sleep before coming," said Murray. "I'm really tired. That's the first time I've had to do that since I came back... It's something that I need to kind of get used to again, especially playing at this level and that intensity.

"It was a good step for me. It's great that I won the match. Whether I'd won or lost it, I was able to come out the following day and be competitive and play some good tennis. But obviously I'm happy I've got the day off tomorrow to recover."

Thiem eased to a 6-3 6-3 victory over wildcard Zhizhen Zhang, who was unable to force a single break point.

Top seed Thiem, able to seal his place in the ATP Finals if he reaches the final this week, broke twice in the first set and once in the second to advance.

Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov also progressed with straight-sets victories over Andrey Rublev and Jeremy Chardy respectively.

Andy Murray was among a number of big names to advance at the China Open on Tuesday and revealed he is now finding greater enjoyment in his tennis after shocking Matteo Berrettini.

Former world number one Murray has three grand slam titles to his name but is ranked just 503rd as he continues his return from hip resurfacing surgery, having been set to call time on his career earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Berrettini is the world number 13 and reached the US Open semi-finals less than four weeks ago.

But in his most notable victory of 2019, Murray upset the odds to defeat the eighth seed 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (9-7) in Beijing and move into the second round.

The Scot took the opportunity afterwards to explain a more positive approach to the sport as he edges closer to full fitness.

"I think just not being in pain now is making tennis a little bit more fun so the practice and the preparation for tournaments is just a lot easier," Murray said, as reported by Eurosport.

"In the last few years, that really wasn't the case and I was finding it all really stressful, I wasn't getting much enjoyment out it. So it's a little bit different now, which is nice."

Murray faces fellow Brit Cameron Norrie next on Wednesday and added: "Hopefully, I can have a good run here. That was a good start for me. I think I play again tomorrow so that will be a good test for me.

"It's the first time I will have played sort of high-level back-to-back days, so I will see how I pull up after that one. But it's a bit of progress for me again this week, which is good.

"I feel like the progress has been quite consistent and hopefully that keeps going through to the end of the year."

Although Berrettini was shocked, several other contenders came through unscathed on Tuesday, with Dominic Thiem and the previously out of form Stefanos Tsitsipas leading the way.

Top seed Thiem, who could face Murray in the quarters, eased past Richard Gasquet in straight sets, as third seed Tsitsipas was required to recover from a set down and then a break in the third to get the better of Dusan Lajovic.

It was the Greek's first victory since the Citi Open with the exception of the Laver Cup.

Thiem said: "I felt great from the first practice and it's great to get my first win in Beijing. It's one of the strongest tournaments - you can lose every match - but I was very good today."

Fabio Fognini advanced, too, beating Mikhail Kukushkin, but American pair Sam Querrey and John Isner overturned seeds Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils respectively in a packed draw.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, who plays Alexander Zverev next, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Diego Schwartzman also reached the last 16.

Andy Murray claimed the best singles win since his comeback from hip surgery by seeing off Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the China Open.

Murray beat world number 13 and US Open semi-finalist Berrettini in straight sets 7-6 (2) 7-6 (7) over the course of two hours and three minutes in Beijing.

Berrettini, who is eighth in the ATP's Race to London standings, broke Murray and served for the first set at 5-3, only for the three-time grand slam winner's customary fighting spirit to kick in and force a tiebreak.

The 32-year-old was dominant in the initial breaker, allowing his Italian opponent only two points.

The pair exchanged breaks early in the second, which also went the distance.

Murray dug in to save two set points before prevailing 9-7, setting up an all-British clash against Cameron Norrie.

Andy Murray has acknowledged he struggled with the physical demands of his match against Alex De Minaur at the Zhuhai Open.

Former world number one Murray, who overcame a gruelling first-round clash with Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday, suffered a 4-6 6-2 6-4 defeat to 20-year-old Australian De Minaur in the second round on Thursday.

Murray looked in sharp form in the first set, yet De Minaur started to get the better of him in set two, coming out on top in some thrilling rallies.

The Scot squandered three break points as he attempted to revive his challenge, but De Minaur triumphed with a second match point, with Murray subsequently conceding he struggled with the intensity of the play.

"Physically, I was struggling," said Murray, who underwent hip surgery in January. "My level dropped off a little bit and he capitalised on that.

"My body held up well after two pretty long matches but the rest of my body is just tired. I wasn't able to sustain it for long enough."

Quoted by BBC Sport, he added: "I played one or two good points, but then I was trying to finish the points a little bit early and shot selection goes down when you're tired."

Murray's focus will switch to Beijing and next week's China Open, while the 32-year-old will also take part in the Shanghai Masters as he continues his singles comeback.

Andy Murray's Zhuhai Open campaign was halted in the second round as he slipped to a 6-4 2-6 4-6 defeat against a dogged Alex De Minaur.

Murray, who edged past Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday, looked in good shape when he broke twice on his way to claiming the first set, but De Minaur recovered.

The 20-year-old Australian came out on top in some riveting rallies, with a sublime drop shot in set three a highlight as Murray's lack of match sharpness handed De Minaur the edge.

De Minaur had squandered two break points at the start of the third set, though he made no such mistake to take a 5-4 lead eight games later.

Former world number one Murray kept his chances alive with some exquisite shots, only to waste three break-back points.

Having then failed to take a first match point, De Minaur made his second one count – Murray's return into the net ending a contest lasting two hours and 42 minutes as the Australian progressed to a quarter-final with Borna Coric.

Murray will turn his focus to the China Open in Beijing as the British player continues his singles comeback following hip surgery.

Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas retired due to illness prior to the third set of his encounter with France's Adrian Mannarino.

Damir Dzumhur will face Mannarino in the last eight, while second seed Roberto Bautista Agut goes up against Andreas Seppi, who saved five match points in a deciding-set tie-break en route to beating Zhizhen Zhan 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (10-8).

Meanwhile, Chengdu Open top seed John Isner fell at his first hurdle as the American succumbed 6-7 (11-13) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) to Egor Gerasimov of Belarus.

Gerasimov – who will next play Denis Shapovalov – was joined in the last eight by US Open semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov, who marked his return to action with a 7-5 7-5 victory over Britain's Dan Evans.

Canadian second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime went down 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to Portugal's Joao Sousa, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta defeated Frenchman Benoit Paire, while Chile's Cristian Garin dispatched Fernando Verdasco of Spain.

Andy Murray considered his Zhuhai Open victory over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday "one of the best wins" of his career.

The former world number one had not won a singles match on the ATP Tour since the Brisbane International in January, announcing his intention to retire and having hip resurfacing surgery in the intervening months.

However, after a successful operation, Murray has been able to return to action, first on the doubles circuit before making his singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.

Not until Tuesday had Murray tasted victory though - and he ranked the gruelling 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 triumph highly, despite his many achievements on court.

"I think that, in some ways, it's one of the best wins I've had," he said. "Not in terms of just getting through that today, but everything that's gone into getting back to this point.

"You don't necessarily appreciate what it's like to be healthy at the beginning of your career. It's something that you take for granted and it's quite easy, whereas these past few years haven't been.

"Obviously, after the operation in January, it's been difficult and it was undecided at times about whether I wanted to keep going or not, and it's been tough.

"But I'm really glad that I can actually get the win today and hopefully I'll be able to keep going."

Murray was also able to provide a positive update on his fitness following the match, adding: "If I played that match in January, there's no chance I could compete the following day or even two days later. I would be in a lot of pain and discomfort.

"Now, I'm tired and fatigued and muscles and stuff are tired from playing the match. But in terms of how my hip feels, that feels really good.

"So that's very positive and I'm satisfied with that because, in January, I couldn't remember what it was like to play tennis and not have the pain in my hip."

Murray will face seventh seed Alex de Minaur next for a place in the quarter-finals.

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