Murray wins on doubles comeback in Rome

May 12, 2021
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    Liam Broady and Andy Murray celebrate winning their Italian Open doubles matchBritish pair Andy Murray (left) and Liam Broady were playing together in an ATP match for the first time

    Former world number one Andy Murray's return to competitive action ended in a gutsy win alongside fellow Briton Liam Broady in the Italian Open doubles.

    Murray, 33, had not played since early March, having withdrawn from the Miami Open with a groin injury.

    The British pair won 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 10-6 against Australians Max Purcell and Luke Saville in the first round.

    In the men's singles in Rome, British number two Cameron Norrie lost to Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

    Murray is hoping to return to singles action in either Lyon or Geneva next week and his purpose of travelling to the Italian capital was for practice sessions with some of the world's leading players.

    After hitting with world number one Novak Djokovic, along with top-10 players Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman, the Scot was given the added bonus of some competitive action in the doubles.

    Murray and 27-year-old Broady were entered as late alternates and pushed their Australian opponents all the way in a fluctuating contest that could have turned either way.

    Although the result was not the key factor for Murray, his competitive edge remains undiminished and the joy for the British pair was clear when they celebrated victory with beaming smiles and a big hug on the baseline.

    Most importantly, the three-time Grand Slam singles champion looked fit and moved well – albeit showing a few bits of rust – with his technical ability coming to the fore on several occasions.

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    Norrie out as Medvedev loses on 'worst surface ever'

    Norrie, ranked one place below Davidovich Fokina at 49th in the world, lost 6-2 6-3 in their second-round match.

    The 25-year-old Briton has been in solid form this year, having won 19 of his 29 matches, but produced too many errors in Rome.

    The defeat meant he missed the opportunity to face top seed Novak Djokovic for the first time in his career, with Davidovich Fokina going on to play the Serb in the third round.

    In the singles, Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to beat Hungary's Marton Fucsovics, but there was more woe on the clay for Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev.

    Medvedev, 25, has struggled to get to grips with the red dirt and complained about it again – saying it was the "worst surface ever" for him – on his way to a 6-2 6-4 defeat by fellow Russian Aslan Karatsev.

    Daniil Medvedev in action at the Italian OpenMedvedev has won one of his three matches on clay this year

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