An emotional Andy Murray made a triumphant return to hard courts Monday in his first match on the surface for nearly 17 months, outlasting Mackenzie McDonald at the ATP Washington Open.
The three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one, who missed 11 months with a right hip injury and surgery last January, defeated the 80th-ranked American 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Murray who has fallen to 832nd in the rankings, needed seven match points to subdue McDonald, squandering five before being broken in the 10th game of the final set before breaking back and finally ending matters after two hours and 37 minutes at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Scotsman unleashed a primal scream and a right fist-pumping frenzy of joy after McDonald hit a forehand long on the final point.
Murray had not played in a hard court match since March 2017 at Indian Wells, where he lost in his opening match.
Murray booked a second-round match Wednesday against British fourth seed Kyle Edmund, who had an opening bye.
It was Murray’s first experience with a serve clock, which will be used at the US Open this year.