Briton Andy Murray beat Australia's James Duckworth 6-7(5) 6-3 7-5 6-3 in the U.S. Open first round on Monday in a fiery match marked by long rallies in sweltering heat.
It was Murray's first appearance in a Grand Slam since last year's Wimbledon quarter-finals, nearly a year since he underwent hip surgery.
Duckworth, who has also struggled with injuries, clawed his way back in the first set against a visibly frustrated Murray who dug deep to take the next three sets.
The 31-year-old told reporters that despite feeling like he “could have moved better”, the match was a welcome return to major competition.
“I was pumped to be back playing in a slam again,” Murray said. “I think tactically, I did well and made some adjustments on the return from the first set, which is a really positive thing.”
Murray, a former U.S. Open champion who said on Friday he didn't expect to win the tournament this year, reiterated that he didn’t consider himself a contender for the top prize.
“I would have been able to train and practise a lot more than what I have done,” Murray said. “I don’t think anything changes after today.”