STUTTGART, 7 Jun: Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray defeated Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday.
The 35-year-old Murray dropped the first three games of the match but recovered to break O’Connell four times and celebrate his tournament debut with a 95-minute win.
Murray missed much of the clay-court season to focus on his preparations for grass. He reached the semifinals of the Surbiton Trophy last week, when he was beaten by Denis Kudla.
He may face Kudla again in Stuttgart if the American gets past seventh-seeded Alexander Bublik in their first-round match later.
Also, Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker surprised American player Maxime Cressy 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2). The 19-year-old Stricker next faces top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Marton Fucsovics came back to beat Austrian qualifier Jurij Rodionov 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 for a second-round meeting with third-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.
Arthur Rinderknech defeated compatriot Ugo Humbert 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 and will next face another French player, Benjamin Bonzi. Bonzi defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-1 on Monday. (AP)