LONDON (AP) Andy Murray won the first set on his return from injury after almost a year away from competitive tennis before Australian Nick Kyrgios rallied to win 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the first round at Queen’s Club on Tuesday.
Despite the defeat, Murray – who last played 342 days ago at Wimbledon 2017 – will take encouragement from his long-awaited return. Former top-ranked Murray still had a visible limp and sometimes looked to struggle with side-to-side movement after hip surgery in January, but he had lost none of his competitive spirit.
Kyrgios, who also looked to be struggling with injury, beat Murray for the first time in six attempts after 2 hours, 39 minutes.
Earlier, Novak Djokovic’s first appearance at the Wimbledon warmup tournament in eight years was successful when he put away Australian qualifier John Millman 6-2, 6-1.
Djokovic, entered as a wild card, will play second-seeded Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.
Also, Milos Raonic, runner-up to Roger Federer last week in Stuttgart, won his opener when Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri retired hurt while trailing 6-1, 3-1.
Djokovic’s comeback from right elbow surgery in January has been gathering pace after reaching the Rome semifinals and French Open quarterfinals. He leads Dimitrov 6-1 in career matchups.
Dimitrov, the 2014 Queen’s champion, struggled past Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3. Dimitrov saved six of eight break points.