LONDON (Reuters) – Andy Murray lost his first singles match after a seven-month absence after undergoing hip surgery on Friday when he fell to Frenchman Richard Gaskett 4-6, 4-6 in the first round of the Cincinnati Tennis Tournament at dawn on Tuesday.
Former world number one Murray has not played a match since leaving Australia in the first round of the Grand Slam on January 14, when he lost a marathon to Spain's Roberto Bautista.
He said after leaving the Australian Championship that his thigh pain was unbearable and therefore did not expect to continue playing, but undergoing surgery at the end of the same month allowed him to return to the stadiums where he participated in doubles and won the tournament in Queens, along with Spain's Feliciano Lopez in mid-June last June.
Murray fell 0-2 in the first set, but managed to turn the lead to 3-2 before returning and losing in the seventh game to give the French a 1-0 lead.
The second set was a bit similar, with Murray trailing behind 2-2 and holding it up to 4-5, but fatigue at the end of the match to win the Frenchman in an hour and 37 minutes.