Andy Murray will headline the first full day of play Monday at Cincinnati. The former No. 1 hasn’t played singles since undergoing hip surgery just after the Australian Open.
With a chance of never coming back to singles, Murray announced his return last week, which could also hint of an appearance at the US Open. He’ll open against Richard Gasquet.
“The performances against top singles players in practices have been good. I’m aware that matches are different, but at some stage you have to take the step to try and play,” said Murray. “The quickest way to get up to speed is by being on the practice and match court with top players.
“I’m not expecting to move as well I used to, but I think I can move better than I am now. That will take some time since I only started playing singles a couple of weeks ago. When you’re playing at the highest level against the best players, they hit the ball big and that takes some time to get used to.”
If Murray wins, he’ll get French Open finalist Dominic Thiem. Murray leads Gasquet 8-3.
“You realise getting back to singles is a hard thing to do because you’re at the mercy of the draws a lot of the time, but I would have absolutely signed for being in this position six months ago,” said Murray. “I’ll just deal with it as it comes, but hopefully it makes for some exciting early rounds.”
While Murray hasn’t officially commented on the US Open singles, which is best-of-5, he has entered fall Asian events in Zhuhai and Beijing.
Also on Monday, former No. 1s Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki will all be in action.
And in the men’s draw, former finalist Nick Kyrgios returns along with 2016 champ Marin Cilic young stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Reilly Opelka.
MONDAY CINCINNATI SCHEDULE
Center court 11am
Caty McNally (USA) vs Elise Mertens (BEL)
Venus Williams (USA) vs Lauren Davis (USA)
Andy Murray (GBR) vs Richard Gasquet (FRA)
Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs Alison Riske (USA)
Reilly Opelka (USA) vs  Borna Coric (CRO)
 Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Radu Albot (MDA)
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) vs Petra Martic (CRO)
Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)
Dayana Yastremska (UKR) vs Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
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