Andy Murray was pushed all the way on his return to tennis in Washington on Tuesday night, the former world number one beating American Mackenzie McDonald after three gruelling sets.
The Scot was made to work hard by the 23-year old, eventually clinching the match 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 on his seventh match point after two hours and 36 minutes on court.
The rain-delayed match didn’t get going until 10.10pm and finished shortly before 1am.
Murray started well enough, breaking McDonald in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, only for the young American to come roaring back and break Murray three times over his next four service games to take the first set 6-3.
Shocked by the loss, Murray was more convincing in the second set, breaking McDonald in games one and nine as he levelled up the match.
The third seemed to be going the way of the three-time major winner after he broke early and served for the match at 5-4, but McDonald was not done, saving five match points on the Murray serve before breaking to square things up at 5-5.
Murray was not to denied, however, as he broke once more and then served out for the match to set up a second-round tie against compatriot Kyle Edmund.
Meets Edmund next… pic.twitter.com/zxdhqstdgL
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 31, 2018
In other action, Malek Jaziri of Tunisia defeated Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1. He will now play Alexander Zverev.
Also on Monday, American Tim Smyczek beat Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to set up a match with Zverev’s brother Mischa.
Elsewhere, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland will face Frances Tiafoe after seeing off Ilya Ivashka of Belarus 6-4, 6-3, while Noah Rubin will play fellow American John Isner after Rubin defeated Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-4.