TORONTO: Andy Murray hit the practice courts with new coach Amelie Mauresmo in full charge of the session as the ATP Toronto Masters kicked off his build up to the US Open.
Murray, ranked 10th but taking the eighth seed due to the injury absences of Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, admitted he found himself caught on the hop with his preparation when Nadal withdrew last week from both Toronto and Cincinnati to let a right wrist injury heal.
Murray, who then received a bye into the second round as a top eight seed, had been expecting to play on Monday evening.
“I planned all of my training and everything around playing my first match on Monday evening and arranged to come here Thursday to get here a little bit earlier to get used to the conditions,” said Murray.
The 27-year-old Scot admits he’s still trying to find traction after his September back surgery and subsequent return to tennis at the start of this season.
“You don’t just come back after surgery and feel great straightaway the first few months,” said Murray. “But I need to start winning more matches to push my ranking back up there.”
Tsonga downs compatriot in first round
As rain played havoc with the schedule, first-round action got underway.
French 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finished with his ninth and 10th aces in a 7-6 (7/3), 6-1 defeat of Edouard Roger-Vasselin, his fourth win this season over his compatriot.
Ivan Dodig finished with an ace to knock out the first seed of the week as he upset 10th-seeded John Isner 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 and Feliciano Lopez beat 14th seed and fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (9/7), 6-3.
Croatian number 15 Marin Cilic beat Uzbek Denis Istomin 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 while Frenchman Jeremy Chardy reached the second round with his 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 defeat of Argentine Federico Delbonis.
He was joined by compatriot Benoit Paire, a winner over Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-2.
Two Australians lost, with Julien Benneteau defeating Lleyton Hewitt 6-1, 6-2 and South African Kevin Anderson defeating teenaged Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2014.
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