Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray collected the biggest victory of his injury comeback on Wednesday at the ATP and WTA Washington Open while defending champion Alexander Zverev booked a matchup with his older brother.
Murray, sidelined by a right hip injury for 11 months until returning in June, ousted fourth seed Kyle Edmund 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 6-4 in an all-British matchup to reach the third round of the hard-court tuneup for the US Open.
“That has been my best win since I started playing again,” Murray said. “It’s a great win for me. It’ll give me more confidence going forward.” Place bet on today’s tennis games on NaijaBet
World No 3 Zverev defeated Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-1, to send the 21-year-old German top seed into his first ATP match against 30-year-old Mischa Zverev, the 15th seed who beat American Tim Smyczek 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
“We played the final of Wimbledon a lot of times in our backyard,” Alex Zverev said. “I was 12. He was 22. I don’t think I ever won. But this is on hardcourt.”
On a day when Australian Nick Kyrgios withdrew with a sore left hip, Murray stole the show with an impressive victory.
“As the weeks progress, I hope to have more days like today where the pressure and the expectations all grow.”
Former world No 1 Murray, now ranked 832nd, outlasted his 18th-ranked rival, breaking on a forehand return winner to advance after two hours and 32 minutes.
“Now I have to get my body to play that way consistently and work on getting better with every match,” Murray said.
The 31-year-old Scotsman, who unleashed a primal scream and flurry of fist pumps after winning his opener, wiped away sweat this time before eventually pointing to the heavens, punching the air with his right fist and pumping his fist with satisfaction.
“Much better in terms of the way I played,” Murray said. “Got a lot more points off my forehand. I was able to be more aggressive. I wanted to dictate more points and be inside the baseline, especially on the main points and particularly in the third set.
“I was less nervous. I increased my intensity at the end of the second set. I thought I did that well.”
Romania’s 93rd-ranked Marius Copil, who ousted French 14th seed Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4, will face Murray on Thursday for a quarterfinal berth.
Kyrgios, ranked 17th, tweeted he was “gutted” to withdraw over the same injury that caused him to retire from an Atlanta Open quarterfinal last week.
“I haven’t had enough time to be ready,” Kyrgios said. “The physio recommended a couple of days of rest, rehab and treatment. I’ve got ample time for it to settle down before Toronto.
“It’s disappointing. But at this stage, I can’t risk aggravating the injury. Last year I wasn’t healthy at the US Open so I want to be right for that.”