Former World No.1 Andy Murray claimed his first singles win since returning from hip surgery with a 6-0 6-1 drubbing of French novice Imran Sibille at the Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca, an ATP Challenger event.
It was good, it's nice to get back on the court playing matches again Andy Murray
The 32-year-old Scot decided not to compete at the US Open, preferring instead to drop down a level to continue fine-tuning his game on his return from hip surgery last January.
It was the first time Murray had played on the second-tier Challenger Tour for 14 years and he needed just 44 minutes to overwhelm Sibille, a trainee at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Aademy whose career earnings amounted to $150 and was competing as an alternate while making his debut on the ATP tour.
Murray, ranked 328th, lost only a smattering of points and was rarely made to stretch by a 17-year-old opponent who was given a coaching lesson by the three-time Grand Slam champion with the Sot converting five of seven break points.
After undergoing hip surgery in January following his first-round exit from the Australian Open, former world number one Murray began easing his way back onto the Tour by playing doubles, starting with a title at Queen’s last June.
The 32-year-old returned to singles this month and was beaten in straight sets by Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati and then lost to American Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open.
“It was good, it’s nice to get back on the court playing matches again,” he said courtside following hs one-sided victory. “It’s nice so many people came out to watch. It’s a brilliant place to play tennis and great conditions.”
Murray, whose ATP ranking has slipped to 328, next faces world number 115 Norbert Gombos of Slovakia in the second round on Tuesday.
“It’ll be a tough match, against the third seed. He made the quarter finals of the ATP tour in Washington a few weeks ago. It’ll be a good test for me.”