Andy Murray continued his positive return to professional tennis after he won the opening round match of the European Open in Antwerp, Belgium. Murray beat Belgium's Kimmer Coppejans 6-4, 7-6(4) in a match that lasted over an hour and 44 minutes.
It was the Scot's first tour-level match in Europe this year and the winning will boost his confidence after coming back from retirement. Murray raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set but allowed wildcard entry Coppejans back into the game with three double faults. In the second set, Murray was taken all the way to tie break, but the three-time Grand Slam winner held his nerve to win the set and eventually the opening match. In the next round, Murray will play next the winner between Pablo Cuevas and Hugo Dellien.
Murray is currently ranked 243rd in the world and he announced retirement earlier this year in January after suffering unbearable pain in his right knee. In a press conference in January, he said that the pain in his right hip had made him consider retiring from the sport. At the time Murray had said that he had planned to retire around mid-year post the Wimbledon but the pain was just too much to handle. He had said, "I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that. I'm not feeling good, I've been struggling for a long time. I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I've pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn't helped loads. I'm in a better place than I was six months ago but I'm still in a lot of pain. I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at."
However, the former world number one returned to professional tennis in August after a successful hip surgery in late January. He first played in the mixed doubles category alongside Serena Williams and the men's double category alongside Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. But his singles comeback was in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. He lost the opening round match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4. He announced that he will not be competing in the US Open but continued playing various tournaments such as the China Open and Shanghai Masters. He lost to Italy's Fabio Fogini 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6( 2) in the second round but produced a much spirited and above-par performance, winning a set as well.
Murray is hoping to make a comeback to Grand Slam tennis by competing in the Australian Open but he has not announced his decision yet.