LONDON (Dispatches) -
Britain’s Andy Murray defeated American lucky loser Noah Rubin in the Winston-Salem Open first round after scheduled opponent Nick Kyrgios withdrew.
Former world number one Murray, 34, beat Rubin 6-2 6-0 and clinched victory by winning 10 successive games.
The three-time Grand Slam champion was due to face Australia’s Kyrgios, who pulled out because of a knee injury.
Murray, who is set to compete at the U.S. Open from 30 August, will face American Frances Tiafoe next in North Carolina.
“I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight. They said if I was playing against a qualifier then I wouldn’t play and then I drew a lucky loser. It was tricky,” said Murray.
“It was obviously difficult for 45 minutes and then the first couple of games because you’ve gone over a strategy with your coach about the match you’re going to play and then obviously that changes,” he added.
The Scot, currently ranked 114th, was beaten in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters last week - losing in straight sets to ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz following victory over Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
That was his first tournament since pulling out of the Olympic singles in Tokyo with a minor thigh strain.