Murray beats Kimmer Coppejans in first round in Antwerp

Andy Murray won his first ATP Tour-level match in Europe for 16 months as he beat Belgian Kimmer Coppejans in the opening round of the European Open.

The former world number one continued his return from hip surgery by defeating wildcard Coppejans, ranked 158th in the world, 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

Murray, 32, will face eighth seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or Bolivian Hugo Dellien in the last 16 later this week.

Fellow Briton Cameron Norrie lost 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

Lopez, 38, claimed the only break of serve in the fifth game of the second set and went on to win in an hour and 29 minutes.

Norrie, ranked 61, had Lopez at 0-40 in the final game of the match but was unable to break back.

Despite the defeat, 24-year-old Norrie will become the British number two on Monday behind Dan Evans, who replaced Kyle Edmund at the top of the national rankings this week.

Edmund, who won the tournament in Antwerp in 2018, lost in qualifying this year and is set to fall outside the world top 70.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Murray then gained his first victory in Europe since beating Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne in June 2018.

Murray, now ranked 243rd in the world, held a 3-0 lead in the first set against his 25-year-old opponent but three double faults resulted in him being broken back, although the Scot broke again in the 10th game.

He clinched the second set in a tie-break in a match that lasted one hour 44 minutes.

Antwerp is likely to be Murray’s last tournament of the year, with the possible exception of the Davis Cup next month.

He hopes to play in the Australian Open in January but is planning a month-long break when the European Open finishes and could leave Antwerp early if his wife, Kim, goes into early labour with their third child. (Courtesy BBC Sports)


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