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Andy Murray makes winning comeback as Bordeaux opponent retires

Andy Murray makes winning comeback as Bordeaux opponent retires
© Reuters
Andy Murray makes a winning return to tennis following his ankle injury as Kyrian Jacquet retires from their Bordeaux Challenger match through injury.

Great Britain's Andy Murray returned to tennis with a victory in the opening round of the Primrose Bordeaux Challenger event.

The three-time Grand Slam winner had been absent from the ATP Tour since sustaining a severe ankle injury in the Miami Open in March, missing three Masters tournaments in Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome.

There were initial fears that Murray's problem could have scuppered his chances of competing at this year's French Open, but the 37-year-old - who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday - opted against surgery and is on the entry list for Roland-Garros.

Now 77th in the world, Murray clashed with French qualifier Kyrian Jacquet - ranked 219th - in their Bordeaux opener, in which he established a 7-5 2-0 lead before his opponent retired.

A tight first set saw neither man fashion a single break point until the ninth game, where Jacquet managed to beat away Murray's first chance, but the Briton broke to love in the 11th before confidently serving out the set.

Murray picked up where he left off at the start of the second with a break to love in the first game, and he recovered from a 40-15 deficit on serve in the next before Jacquet had to call it quits due to an apparent groin problem.

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Dan Evans in action at the Mexican Open on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Thanks to his first clay-court win of the season, Murray will now meet Gregoire Barrere in the second round, while compatriot Dan Evans also got off to a winning start in Bordeaux.

The 33-year-old was on a five-match losing streak before the Challenger event, but he strolled past Hugo Grenier 6-4 6-2 to set up a second-round clash with Harold Mayot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, British number one Katie Boulter thrashed compatriot Harriet Dart 6-0 6-4 in the WTA 125 Paris tournament, and semi-final places were sealed at the Italian Open.

Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins both prevailed in straight sets, as the former beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 before Collins overcame Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-3.

Meanwhile, Alexander Zverev bested Taylor Fritz 6-4 6-3 in their quarter-final tie, and he will lock horns with Novak Djokovic's conqueror Alejandro Tabilo, who continued his stunning run by sinking Zhang Zhizhen 6-3 6-4.

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