LONDON — Former world No. 1 Andy Murray defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2 at The Queen’s Membership grass-court match, dispatching the Frenchman in 65 minutes for his first match victory in additional than a yr.
It was Murray’s first grass-court match in three years and he felt proper at residence, changing all three break factors and by no means dealing with one himself.
Murray hadn’t performed on grass since Eastbourne in 2018. His final match was a March loss to No. 8 Andrey Rublev of Russia and his final match win got here within the first spherical of the 2020 U.S. Open, the place he got here again from two units right down to narrowly defeat Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan.
After beating Paire, the often-injured Murray, who has undergone two hip surgical procedures, needed to pause to achieve his composure earlier than talking.
“I like taking part in tennis,” he mentioned, shaking his head as the gang stood and cheered. “Sorry. Clearly, competing is why you set in all of the arduous work. The previous couple of years I’ve not obtained to do this as a lot as I might have appreciated. Nice that I’m out right here and in a position to compete once more.”
Murray was sidelined for a lot of the previous two seasons and had not performed on the ATP Tour since Rotterdam 14 weeks in the past. He had received each of his earlier conferences with Paire, together with at Wimbledon in 2017.
The favored 34-year-old British star has received this match a document 5 occasions (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016). His victory coupled with ones by Daniel Evans, wild-card entry Jack Draper and Cameron Norrie marks the primary time that 4 British singles gamers have received a match at Queen’s since 2005, the yr Murray made his debut. Tim Henman, Jamie Delgado and Greg Rusedski additionally received that yr.
In different matches, top-seeded Matteo Berrettini held off fellow Italian Stefano Travaglia 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) within the Queen’s Membership debut for each gamers; second-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada eked out a 7-6 (6), 7-6 (6) win over qualifier Aleksandar Vukic of Australia; British No. 1 Daniel Evans topped Australian Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 6-4; Alex de Minaur of Australia got here again to defeat Laslo Djere of Serbia 3-6, 6-3, 6-4; Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan rallied previous Jeremy Chardy of France 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; American Frances Tiafoe defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Marin Cilic of Croatia held off Austrian qualifier Sebastian Ofner 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4); and Fabio Fognini of Italy defeated Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Murray, a two-time champion at Wimbledon, which begins in two weeks, will face Berrettini.
“Am I taking part in tomorrow?” Murray deadpanned. “I hoped for a break day. It will likely be an important take a look at for me. I’ll must play yet one more degree up from at present if I wish to do effectively.”