Andy Murray made a winning return in his first match for seven months with victory over Liam Broady in the Battle of the Brits tournament.
The three-time Grand Slam champion had not played since a Davis Cup clash in November due to a bruised bone, but clinched a 6-2 6-2 triumph in Roehampton.
He did not show too much rustiness in the Tim Henman Group fixture in the all-British tournament – hosted by his brother Jamie – at the National Tennis Centre.
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Murray broke world number 211 Broady in his first game before the Englishman levelled the game at 2-2.
It was short respite for Broady though, with the two-time Wimbledon winner breaking in the next game and taking the first set 6-2.
Despite this being Murray’s first match since victory against Tallon Griekspoor in November, he was able to keep up his energy levels in the second set to close out the win.
He told Amazon Prime: “It was OK. I served pretty well, I thought I served well throughout the match. I didn’t hit the ball that well from the back of the court, had a lot of errors and the balance didn’t feel great, but it was all right.”
Next up for Murray is a match on Wednesday against Kyle Edmund, which he insists will be a tricky encounter.
“Kyle played well today, he is fit and hitting a big ball so I’ll be surprised if I manage to come through that one,” the former world number one added. “I will try to rest up and hopefully improve a little bit tomorrow. If I serve like I did today and hit the ball a little bit cleaner from the back of the court I will give myself some chances, but it will be tough.”
Dan Evans showed why he is British number one with a routine victory over Jay Clarke earlier in the day.
The 6-3 6-1 win for the 30-year-old showed why many are tipping him to triumph at the Roehampton tournament.
But Evans told Amazon Prime: “Andy Murray is the favourite. It felt a bit strange to be back playing and I mistimed a few balls, but it is good to be out here and getting some matches in.
“It’s obviously been a terrible time so it’s good to put some tennis back on the TV for the people tuning in.”
British number two Edmund looked solid and consistent in his 6-1 6-4 victory over James Ward in his opening match of the round-robin tournament.
Earlier, in an upset, Broady and Cameron Norrie beat Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski 3-6 7-5 11-9 after a close final-set tie-break.
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