British Andy Murray returned to the courts for the first time in over three months for an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. The tournament was an opportunity to warm up ahead of his first official ATP event in Doha, which begins on December 30.
The 26-year-old, who is returning from minor back surgery, played a competitive opening set against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, where the two players held serve for a combined 11 games, before Tsonga saw an opportunity to snatch the set 7-5. The second set started promising for Murray as he broke serve at the start of the set for a 1-0 lead but was unable to maintain it and would drop his advantage just one game later.
From there on, the match was firmly in Tsonga’s grasp as his brute power overwhelmed Murray into dropping his next service game to bring the score to 4-1 for Tsonga. Murray would manage to win his following two games on serve but was unable to stop Tsonga’s barrage of shots and eventually succumbed to the world No. 10 7-5, 6-3.
Murray admit that he may have been a bit rusty heading into the match, yet he certainly missed being out on the courts. He will face Stanislas Wawrinka, who also lost to David Ferrer earlier, tomorrow afternoon. Tsonga will be scheduled to meet world No. 2 Novak Djokovic.