Andy Murray (L) and his brother Jamie Murray of Great Britain celebrate a point during their doubles match against Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France during Day 3 of the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on July 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP
Andy Murray reunites with brother Jamie for doubles win
(Agence France-Presse) - August 1, 2019 - 8:33am

WASHINGTON – Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray moved closer to a singles comeback six months after hip surgery, joining brother Jamie for a doubles victory Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) at the ATP Washington Open.

The Murrays, partnered for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics, downed Frenchmen Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-7 (7/9), 10-5 to reach the last eight at the US Open tuneup event.

"It was a good atmosphere," Andy Murray said. "It felt like there were some good points and quick reactions out there."

Andy Murray is practicing singles and playing doubles as the former world number one, now ranked 222, continues his fightback from right hip surgery in January.

The 32-year-old Scotsman feared he could be forced into retirement before the operation. He returned to the court in June but only in doubles while he rehabilitates.

Andy departed Washington in tears from pain and frustration last year after a rain-delayed 3 a.m. singles finish.

"I'm in a much better place than I was last year," Murray said. "Physically, I'm so much better now. To be competing again and pain-free is brilliant."

The British duo trailed 5-2 in the decisive super-tiebreaker but steamrolled back by taking the last eight points, Jamie Murray's service winner securing the victory.

It was Andy who began the rally with a backhand winner and added backhand volley and drop volley winners on the two penultimate points.

Murray declared Monday his hip has responded better than expected and he was "quite close" to a singles comeback, perhaps as soon as Cincinnati in two weeks.

That would be only two weeks ahead of the US Open, with Murray also saying if he didn't play Cincinnati he would likely wait until after the US Open, cautious of pushing his luck untested in best-of-five-set matches.

Murray, who won Grand Slam titles at the 2012 US Open and in 2013 and 2016 at Wimbledon, most recently played singles at the Australian Open in January, losing a first-round five-setter to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Murrays, who helped Britain win the 2015 Davis Cup, broke the French duo in the final game to claim the first set then outlasted them to the finish after one hour and 51 minutes.

They will play for a semifinal spot against third seeds Michael Venus of New Zealand and Raven Klaasen of South Africa.

Isner, Raonic advance

US fifth seed John Isner advanced to the third round by eliminating Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-4. Isner, seeking his 16th career ATP crown, was a Washington runner-up in 2007, 2013 and 2015.

"It was a good start. I'm happy with the win," said Isner, who faces French 10th seed Benoit Paire next.

Canadian eighth seed Milos Raonic, the 2014 Washington winner and only past champion in the field, ripped US qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-1, 6-4.

Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, the ATP top 100's youngest player at 18, ousted American Reilly Opelka 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to book a third-round date against sixth seed Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner.

The teen has lost the first three ATP finals of his career this year at Rio, Lyon and Stuttgart but hopes for a breakthrough this week.

"Milos had his biggest title here," he said. "Hopefully I can repeat that this year."

In the accompanying WTA event, the third top-three seed in as many days fell as US third seed Sofia Kenin, who upset Serena Williams at the French Open, lost in the second round to compatriot Lauren Davis 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.

ANDY MURRAY TENNIS
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