Andy Murray was very pleased to secure his first ATP Tour singles win on Tuesday in Zhuhai and believes its one of the toughest wins of his career.
At the start of the season a tearful Murray looked close to the end of his playing days but he has found a new lease of life after a hip resurfacing operation.
Pain-free, Murrays hard work to whip himself back into shape to compete finally paid off and he downed top-70 player Tennys Sandgren 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 to return to winning ways in singles.
The hard-fought two hours and 41 minutes win over the American – who defeated Murray in Winston-Salem little over a month ago – saw Murray take huge strides forward in resurrecting his career.
Physically, the three-time Grand Slam champion looked sharper – with his more fluid movement allowing him to play a more offensive style of tennis than in previous outings – while his serve had improved immeasurably since recent outings at Challenger level in Mallorca.
Needless to say, Murray was delighted to book his spot in the next round against seventh seed Alex De Minaur.
It was a tough, tough match with some very hard games in the first set, Murray said. I had a match point in the second and I think I did well to come back in the third because it was very humid. But I am very pleased to get through.
I think that in some ways that its one of the toughest wins that Ive had, not in terms of just getting through that today, but with everything thats gone into getting back to this point.