Murray Return Starts Well As Back Holds Up

by
Reuters
Andy Murray emerged unscathed as he completed a rain-delayed 6-3 7-6 (4) win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at the Aegon Championships on Thursday in his first match following a four-week break caused by a back injury.

andy murray return

* Briton knocks out Mahut at Queen's

* Murray returns after four-week absence

Andy Murray emerged unscathed as he completed a rain-delayed 6-3 7-6 (4) win over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at the Aegon Championships on Thursday in his first match following a four-week break caused by a back injury.

The top seed, who missed the French Open after being struck down in Rome, needed only 45 minutes on day four of the Wimbledon warm-up event to ease past Mahut.

Murray faces a busy day ahead at a cold and damp Queen's Club. He will be back on court again for a third-round match against Australian Marinko Matosevic as organisers try to get the grasscourt event back on schedule.

"It is tough to get into a rhythm with all the delays. I managed to get through it in the end and hopefully it's a good warm-up for later," Murray said in a courtside interview.

"Missing the French Open was tough. You realise how much it means to you.

"(Today) the back felt great especially with the conditions we have had. It is very cold and I'm sure, as anyone who has had a back problem knows, that's not good.

"But even with all the stopping and starting it feels great and that is probably the most satisfying thing about the match."

Resuming at 6-3 2-2, Murray rattled through a brisk second set and brought up match point by threading a screaming forehand down the line winner.

Moments later he finished off Mahut, who will long be remembered for his record 11 hour five minute epic against American John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010, with a blazing passing shot.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is another player who will have to put in a double shift on Thursday after beating compatriot Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3 6-7 6-3 to reach the third round.

Fourth seed Tsonga, who reached the French Open semi-finals last week, did not have things all his own way on a still slippery centre court and was taken to a deciding set.

Tsonga completed victory with an ace after one hour 49 minutes and will be back in action later against Dutchman Igor Sijsling.

Former champion Lleyton Hewitt showed he can still do damage on the slick grass as he hustled past big-serving American sixth seed Sam Querrey 5-7 6-3 6-4 in a third-round encounter.

Second-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych also found his groove to record a 6-3 6-4 third-round win over Slovenia's Grega Zemlja.