Andy Murray’s return to singles play was shortlived as the former No. 1 was bounced out of the Cincinnati draw by Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4.
While Murray moved decently, he was really troubled by a poor serving day. The Scot was broken three times and won just 42% of second serves.
“I think I did okay. I think there were a lot of things I would like to have done better in the match, but you also have to be somewhat realistic, in terms of what you can expect,” Murray said.
“[Richard] uses all of the angles on the court. He’s one of the best at doing that. So I was having to move quite a lot laterally, and I didn’t move forward particularly well. Like when he drop shotted, there was a few times I didn’t even run to the ball, didn’t react to it, and that’s nothing to do with my hip. That’s just me not running for a ball, which I did do better at the end of the match.”
Gasquet also underwent groin surgery in January, so he was pleased to get through.
“After surgery you never know if you’re going to come back or not,” said Gasquet. “Mentally, it’s tough. Physically after this, it’s very difficult to come back on the court, especially to play on a high level, running, one step to the other side, to serve.
“Now I’m feeling good. Of course, I fought a lot all year to come back, so now I’m feeling great… I hope it will be the same for Andy.”
Among the other big matches on the day, D.C. champion Nick Kyrgios outclassed Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 6-4. The fan favorite will now face Canadian semifinalist Karen Khachanov.
“I actually felt as if I didn’t serve my best today at all. I’m being serious. I didn’t feel like I was hitting my spots well at all,” said Kyrgios who made the finals in 2017. “But he’s a young guy, he’s going to have an amazing career. He’s had a great year, obviously won a title as well. I’m just happy to get through. I knew it was going to be tough and I wanted to play Khachanov next, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Former champion Marin Cilic’s tough season continued as the Croat was stunned by Radu Albot 6-4, 7-6(6).
And French phenom Felix Auger-Aliassime was plagued by 10 double faults in a 6-3, 6-3 loss to fellow 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic.
“It definitely means a lot. It’s a big win for me. I needed this mentally just to know that I can be here and play with these guys, so I think it’s going to help for the upcoming matches,” Kecmanovic said. “I felt pretty good on the court and played solid, so hopefully I can keep it up.”
He’ll now get Alexander Zverev on Wednesday.
On a big Tuesday, former champions and tournament favorites Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer make their summer hard court debuts.
The defending champion Djokovic will duel American Sam Querrey who was a straight set winner Monday over Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Seven-time winner Federer will battle Juan Ignacio Londero in the evening.
Former champion Grigor Dimitrov also faces Stan Wawrinka for the third time in as many months. Wawrinka has won six of 10 including the last four.
TUESDAY CINCINNATI SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
ATP – Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) vs Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA –  Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) vs Venus Williams (USA)
ATP – Reilly Opelka (USA) vs  Borna Coric (Croatia) to finish 4-6 6-3 3-4 0-15
ATP –  Novak Djokovic (Serbia) vs [WC] Sam Querrey (USA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP –  Roger Federer (Switzerland) vs [WC] Juan Ignacio Londero (Argentina)
Not Before 8:30 pm
WTA – [Q] Zarina Diyas (Kazakhstan) vs  Serena Williams (USA)
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