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Andy Murray was triumphant in his first match since last month’s Wimbledon second-round exit and in the process exercised some demons in Washington.
Murray lost in the last-64 at the All England Club to Stefanos Tsitispas on July 6 but was back on court four weeks later to step up his US Open preparations and defeated Brandon Nakashima in straight sets.
World No 44 Murray was in action at a familiar stomping ground and was able to clinch a first victory at the Citi Open since his emotional appearance there in 2018.
Five years ago after victory against Marius Copil, a tearful Murray hobbled off court and had to withdraw from a scheduled quarter-final showing with Alex de Minaur due to exhaustion.
Murray’s troublesome hip injury plagued him in Washington in 2018 and he would subsequently have hip resurfacing surgery that would rescue his career months later.
The two-time Wimbledon champion lost in the first round of the Citi Open to Mikael Ymer last year, but was able to finally return to winning ways at the tournament with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Nakashima in the last-32.
Fellow Briton Dan Evans joined his compatriot in tasting victory in Washington.
Evans fought back from a set down to beat Gregoire Barrere to book his place in the next round.
The 33-year-old won a narrow contest 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 to end a run of three defeats after first-round losses at Queen’s Club, Wimbledon and Atlanta during the past two months.
Liam Broady was unable to replicate Murray and Broady’s success after he was defeated 6-4, 6-2 by Tallon Griekspoor.