Andy Murray wins first match back after injury forced him out of Olympic singles

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Andy Murray on his way to victory  (Getty Images)
Andy Murray on his way to victory (Getty Images)

Andy Murray said he felt in control as he marked his return to singles action after injury with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open.

Britain’s three-time Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his singles title at the Tokyo Olympics due to a thigh strain.

But he showed promise on Monday night as he made the most of his wildcard entry to the ATP 1000 event by defeating the world No53 from France.

The Scot fired 14 aces, including 10 in the first set, to Gasquet’s three as the pair battled in Cincinnati, where Murray finished with 38 winners. The 34-year-old won the tournament in 2008 and 2011.

"I was able to step in and control a lot of the points," said Murray.

"When I play like that, I create opportunities and can put a lot of pressure on my opponent."

He will next face the winner out of ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Murray was able to play in the men’s doubles at the Olympics and in his first press conference since the Games, Murray on Sunday admitted he would not be making any long-term goals until after the US Open.

"I think I need to set short-term goals, it is what’s really important just now because it’s been very difficult to plan medium and longer-term targets because of various different issues that I’ve had this year," he said.

Murray made it to Wimbledon after two hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019, when it was unclear whether the Briton would play tennis again.

Wimbledon was Murray’s first Grand Slam of this year, after he contracted Covid before the Australian Open and missed Roland Garros, and he reached the third round before losing to Denis Shapovalov in straight sets.

Also on Monday night, Dan Evans lost 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 to Diego Schwartzman but in the women’s tournament fellow Brit Heather Watson had a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

Additional reporting by PA.

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