Andy Murray of Great Britain serves to Lucas Pouille.
Andy Murray of Great Britain serves to Lucas Pouille.

Andy Murray’s disastrous injury comeback

ANDY Murray's comeback from hip surgery hit another roadblock when he was beaten by France's Lucas Pouille in the first round of the Cincinnati Open.

Pouille, the world No. 17, proved to be the more resourceful as he claimed his first win in five tries against Murray 6-1 1-6 6-4.

The former World No. 1 Scot has endured a frustrating time since he came back to the ATP Tour after 11 months in June.

Murray had hoped to build on the momentum leading into the US Open after a run to the quarter-finals of the Citi Open before he pulled out of the Washington tournament citing fatigue.

"The start of the match was not good. It was a pretty bad first set," he said. "After that, it was a little better."

Murray, whose ranking plummeted into the 800s last month but has now risen to 375, has now fallen at the first hurdle in two of the four tournaments he has contested this year.

Australian No. 1 Nick Kyrgios, last year's tournament runner-up, is seeded 15th and will play qualifier Denis Kudla in his first-round match on Tuesday. Kyrgios is the only Australian in the tournament after John Millman was forced to retire from his first-round qualifying match.

The ATP Masters 1000 tournament lost its top seed when world No. 1 Rafael Nadal withdrew after winning the Canadian Open on Sunday, to take care of his body before the US Open.

It means World No. 2 Roger Federer, who skipped the Toronto event, is now the highest seed in Cincinnati.

"It's a pity Rafa isn't playing. He would have added massively to that part of the draw," he said.

The second-seeded Swiss, has won in Cincinnati a record seven times but hasn't played there since winning in 2015.

"I was sad not to play here last year, and two years ago there wasn't a chance," Federer said.

"I'm glad to be back."

Sam Querrey ground out a 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) win over fellow American John Isner, sealing the victory with an ace.

Querrey gained an edge with a mini-break on the fifth point of the second tie-breaker when ninth-seeded Isner sailed a forehand wide.

Spanish 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, Britain's 14th seed Kyle Edmund and Japan's Kei Nishikori were early first-round winners.

Others to progress to the second round on Monday were Denis Shapovalov, Adrian Mannarino, Jeremy Chardy, Benoit Paire, Leonardo Mayer, Peter Gojowczyk and Bradley Klahn.