Murray battles past Duckworth on Grand Slam return

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Briton Andy Murray beat Australia’s James Duckworth 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 6-3 in the U.S. Open first round on Monday in a fiery match marked by long rallies in sweltering heat.

Aug 27, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Andy Murray of Great Britain hits to James Duckworth of Australia on day one of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

It was Murray’s first appearance in a Grand Slam since last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals, nearly a year since he underwent hip surgery.

Duckworth, who has also struggled with injuries, clawed his way back in the first set against a visibly frustrated Murray who dug deep to take the next three sets.

The 31-year-old told reporters that despite feeling like he “could have moved better”, the match was a welcome return to major competition.

“I was pumped to be back playing in a slam again,” Murray said.

Slideshow (5 Images)

“I think tactically, I did well and made some adjustments on the return from the first set, which is a really positive thing.”

Murray, a former U.S. Open champion who said on Friday he didn’t expect to win the tournament this year, reiterated that he didn’t consider himself a contender for the top prize.

“I would have been able to train and practise a lot more than what I have done,” Murray said. “I don’t think anything changes after today.”

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