Both Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund found themselves side-lined following their first-round losses in Cologne at the ‘bett1HULKS INDOORS’ event.
It wasn't that big an improvement , I need to practice, play matches and get better. Andy Murray
Murray crashed out to Fernando Verdasco in what was the last match on Tuesday’s schedule which didn’t finish until after midnight local time.
The former world number one’s 6-4 6-4 defeat was his third straight loss to the Spaniard though he still leads him 13-4 in their career head-to-heads.
Murray is still struggling to regain his form following his long lay-off to recover from a hip operation and Cologne is only his fourth tournament of the year.
“It was tough, I had a few chances, but I didn’t serve that well and these courts are quite slow, so it’s important to get break points which I didn’t get,” Murray admitted.
“He played better than me.”
He is still committed to making a full return but requires matches to regain his full fitness.
“I plan to stay and play next week, get some practice in the next few days,” he added
“It wasn’t that big an improvement (on defeat to Wawrinka at the French Open), I need to practice, play matches and get better.”
Murray had chances to level in the second set when he held three break points in the tenth game but Verdasco, playing only his second tournament since the tour’s resumption following the pandemic lockdown, regained control to seal victory on his fourth match point to set up a second round meeting with the top seed, Alexander Zverev.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day Kyle Edmund lost a tight match 7-5 7-6(1) to the big-serving South African Lloyd Harris, who hit eight aces. Harris’ reward is a second-round match with American Steve Johnson.
In other action eighth-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic had to fight hard to avoid a humiliating first-round loss to a Lucky Loser. The Croat eventually beat American Marcos Giron, a late replacement after his original opponent Ricardas Berankis withdrew, 6-2 4-6 6-3.
Cilic next plays Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after the Spanish player won 7-5 6-4 against Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori.
The second-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, following a first round bye, will take on Gilles Simon in the second round after the veteran Frenchman swept past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-0 6-3.