Andy Murray considered his Zhuhai Open victory over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday "one of the best wins" of his career.

The former world number one had not won a singles match on the ATP Tour since the Brisbane International in January, announcing his intention to retire and having hip resurfacing surgery in the intervening months.

However, after a successful operation, Murray has been able to return to action, first on the doubles circuit before making his singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.

Not until Tuesday had Murray tasted victory though - and he ranked the gruelling 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 triumph highly, despite his many achievements on court.

"I think that, in some ways, it's one of the best wins I've had," he said. "Not in terms of just getting through that today, but everything that's gone into getting back to this point.

"You don't necessarily appreciate what it's like to be healthy at the beginning of your career. It's something that you take for granted and it's quite easy, whereas these past few years haven't been.

"Obviously, after the operation in January, it's been difficult and it was undecided at times about whether I wanted to keep going or not, and it's been tough.

"But I'm really glad that I can actually get the win today and hopefully I'll be able to keep going."

Murray was also able to provide a positive update on his fitness following the match, adding: "If I played that match in January, there's no chance I could compete the following day or even two days later. I would be in a lot of pain and discomfort.

"Now, I'm tired and fatigued and muscles and stuff are tired from playing the match. But in terms of how my hip feels, that feels really good.

"So that's very positive and I'm satisfied with that because, in January, I couldn't remember what it was like to play tennis and not have the pain in my hip."

Murray will face seventh seed Alex de Minaur next for a place in the quarter-finals.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga rallied to beat Aljaz Bedene in three sets in Sunday's Moselle Open final, claiming his fourth title.

The former world number five, who previously won the competition in 2011, 2012 and 2015, dumped out seeds Nicoloz Basilashvili and Lucas Pouille en route to another decider.

But it was Tsonga who faced an upset when the first-set tie-break went the way of Bedene.

However, the one-time Australian Open finalist came up with an impressive response, edging another breaker in the second before starting the decider in fine fashion.

Tsonga moved 3-0 up and comfortably held while piling pressure on the Bedene serve.

He did not need another break, though, and saw out a 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 success and the 18th championship of his career.

Daniil Medvedev strolled to a sixth career title as he defeated Borna Coric 6-3 6-1 in the final of the St Petersburg Open.

Runner-up to Rafael Nadal in an epic US Open final earlier this month, Medvedev never looked likely to miss out on victory in his fifth successive final.

The world number four showed supreme consistency across both sets, with Coric unable to claim a single break point.

Medvedev, on the other hand, broke serve twice in set one - which he wrapped up at the third time of asking inside 41 minutes - before successive breaks in the second put him well on his way to a routine triumph.

Coric fought back in game six to ensure he was not whitewashed in the second set, although it ultimately mattered little as Medvedev served out the win with an ace.

It represents Medvedev's first ATP title in his home country, with the 23-year-old leading the way in terms of wins (57) on the ATP Tour this season.

Andy Murray says it would be "a bit naive and silly" to think he can recapture the form that took him to world number one and three grand slam titles.

The 32-year-old Scot is fighting his way back after undergoing career-saving hip surgery, and he plays four tournaments in the next four weeks as he steps up his comeback.

Murray looked finished, or as good as, at the start of the year when he said Wimbledon would be his final event before retiring.

He had a change of heart after a successful operation and is determined to make a fist of a new lease of life, after saying he is now pain-free for the first time in years.

But results have been shaky in his tentative return to singles action, with Murray losing a pair of first-round matches in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem before stepping back to play on the lower-tier ATP Challenger Tour and finally rediscovering a winning touch.

He won a pair of matches at the low-profile Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca, but Murray wants to compete at the top level, even if he is not winning tournaments consistently.

"I'm not expecting to get back to my very best," he said, according to BBC Sport. "I think it would be probably a bit naive and silly to think that would be the case.

"I do feel like tennis-wise I can still compete at the highest level in terms of my skill, it's just whether physically I can get to a high enough level to be competitive right at the top."

Murray will have a better idea of his future prospects in a month's time, and he begins his busy schedule by playing the Zhuhai Championships in China, facing American Tennys Sandgren in the first round.

World number 69 Sandgren beat Murray in Winston-Salem, so it will be a chance to avenge that loss and show whether the former Wimbledon and US Open champion - a long-time member of the 'big four' in men's tennis - is making progress.

Murray said, on the ATP website: "I don't know how far I'm going to be able to get now on my comeback. I don't know how much improving I still have to do or if I'm going to be able to. But I'm in no pain just now, so I might as well give it a shot and see how far I will go with the recovery."

He plays events in Beijing, Shanghai and Antwerp after the Zhuhai tournament, and Murray is targeting a run of match wins to show he can become a force again.

"I'd like to try to get 12 to 15 matches between now and the end of the year so my body gets used to competing and playing matches consistently again," he said.

"I hadn't done that for two years. It's been a really long time, so it takes time for your body to build up."

Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of his singles and doubles matches on day three of the Laver Cup with an "inflamed hand".

The French Open and US Open champion had been set to feature in a high-profile doubles pairing with Roger Federer against John Isner and Jack Sock in the opening match of Sunday's play.

Nadal was also set to take on Nick Kyrgios in singles later in the day, having been beaten by the Australian in a doubles contest late on Saturday.

But that match the previous day, in which Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas lost to Kyrgios and Sock, meant the Spaniard was not able to recover in time.

He complained of inflammation to his left hand on Sunday morning - an issue he says he has dealt with for "a couple of years" - and Tsitsipas was called in to take his place alongside Federer.

Thiem will play Kyrgios, meanwhile, with Team Europe aiming to wrap up a third straight title, carrying a narrow 7-5 lead into the final day.

Nadal said: "I am sad, of course. I was excited to play the doubles with Roger obviously - that's the thing that makes me more sad because, in singles, I know Dominic is going to be there and he's going to do unbelievably.

"Since a couple of years ago, I've had this bad feeling on the hand. It's an inflamation of the hand - not the wrist.

"Yesterday, I played and sometimes the next day you are a little bit better, sometimes you are a little bit worse. Today, I think it's a little bit more inflamed.

"This morning, I woke up with that feeling that something is inflamed on the hand and I texted Roger and Thomas [Enqvist, vice-captain] and Bjorn [Borg, captain].

"We needed to find a solution because I don't think I'm the right one to play today and we have a great team without me being 100 per cent. All the guys are unbelievable."

He added: "Now, let's support and hopefully we can achieve this."

Nick Kyrgios bounced back from a tough defeat to Roger Federer to keep Team World in the mix for a breakthrough Laver Cup victory in a doubles success alongside Jack Sock.

Europe, who have won the prior two editions of the competition, lead 7-5 heading into the final day, but they might have had one hand on the trophy already if not for Kyrgios.

A home side able to name a line-up where each of their six players are ranked higher than John Isner, their opponents' top star, celebrated singles triumphs for Federer and Rafael Nadal but found Kyrgios in determined mood late on Saturday evening.

Team World had struck first to level the contest at 3-3, with wins on the second day worth two points - double their first-day value, while third-day victories earn three.

Isner saw opponent Alexander Zverev fall apart and clinched a 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 10-1 success.

Pegged back, matters looked to be going from bad to worse for Europe when the dangerous Kyrgios took the first set against Federer.

But the Swiss veteran recovered to triumph 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 10-7 and it appeared to be plain sailing from there, with Nadal winning the final singles contest of the day, easing past Milos Raonic 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to regain complete control of the competition.

"Being here for me is a very positive energy," Nadal said. "I like being around such a great team and the crowd is amazing.

"I feel very lucky [to win] the first set. I started to play better later in the match and I think I played a very good tie-break in the end."

The Spaniard was back on court to close out Saturday's play, teaming up with Stefanos Tsitsipas, to take on Kyrgios and Sock.

However, Kyrgios gave an early indication of what was to come as he started in impressive fashion again with some blistering winners in an opener Team World dominated, breaking swiftly and protecting the serve with ease.

The Australian was guilty of gifting away the decisive first break in the second set, making a mess of a seemingly straightforward volley, before coming into his own again with the match level.

Nadal was too often left to plough a lone furrow by Tsitsipas and Kyrgios excelled at the net, greeting each European error in typically extravagant fashion.

Fittingly, after a one-sided tie-break, the match was clinched on Kyrgios' serve 6-4 3-6 10-6 to set up an intriguing final day.

Daniil Medvedev racked up another straight-sets win to book a shot at Borna Coric in the St Petersburg Open final.

The US Open runner-up, who has enjoyed a sensational run of form since Wimbledon, defeated Egor Gerasimov 7-5 7-5 in the last four.

Qualifier Gerasimov was competitive but unable to repeat his quarter-final upset of third seed Matteo Berrettini.

Medvedev made the decisive break late in each set and dropped serve just once in the 90-minute match, the Russian reaching his eighth final of 2019 as a result.

He is the first player since Novak Djokovic at the end of 2018 to reach the final in five consecutive tournaments played.

Top seed Medvedev will meet Coric after the Croatian came from behind to defeat Joao Sousa 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

Coric, seeded fourth, has won all of his three matches this week in a deciding set to reach a sixth career ATP Tour final.

Sousa lost a contest lasting two hours and 16 minutes despite saving 14 of 17 break points. A tense second-set tie-break, which was level at 5-5 before Coric won two straight points, ultimately proved decisive.

Coric holds a 4-1 head-to-head advantage over Medvedev, who is looking to become the first Russian to win in St Petersburg since Mikhail Youzhny 15 years ago.

At the Moselle Open, Aljaz Bedene will meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final.

World number 76 Bedene reached his first ATP Tour final of the year after disappointing the home fans in Metz with an upset 4-6 6-1 6-2 win over France's Benoit Paire.

But the home support will have Tsonga to get behind on Sunday after he overcame fellow Frenchman Lucas Pouille 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

Both players dominated on serve, with Pouille failing to convert the solitary break-point opportunity of the match while leading 6-5 in the first set, as Tsonga reached his fifth Moselle Open final.

Daniil Medvedev showed no sign of suffering a US Open hangover as the top seed eased through to the quarter-finals at the St Petersburg Open.

Playing for the first time since his five-set defeat to Rafael Nadal in the final at Flushing Meadows, Medvedev brushed aside fellow Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-5 6-3 after 76 minutes on court.

Next up for Medvedev will be another compatriot in fifth seed Andrey Rublev, who dominated in a deciding set to oust Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1.

US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini was on court for less than an hour in his 6-1 6-2 victory against Roberto Carballes Baena, with the third seed's quest for a third title on the ATP Tour this year continuing against Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov in the last eight.

However, Russia's Karen Khachanov failed to make it into the quarters, the second seed going down 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to Joao Sousa.

There was also a shock at the Moselle Open on Thursday, as top seed David Goffin was beaten 6-3 6-2 by Pablo Carreno Busta.

Seventh-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon also exited the tournament on home soil in Metz but there was better news for his countrymen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille, the duo recording respective victories over Pierre-Hugues Herbert (6-3 6-4) and Lorenzo Sonego (6-1 6-4).

Nikoloz Basilashvili, the second seed for the tournament, also progressed to set up a meeting with Tsonga, ousting qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 (8-6).

 

Benoit Paire recorded just his second victory over fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet to progress at the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

Gasquet held a 7-1 career record going into the match against his compatriot but failed to capitalise on winning the first set against Paire, who relied on his excellent service game to rally for a 3-6 6-3 6-4 triumph.

Next up will be another countryman in Gregoire Barrere, a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 winner over Antoine Hoang, while Gilles Simon remains on track for glory on home soil - for a fourth time - after seeing off Marius Copil in straight sets.

Ugo Humbert could not provide another French success, losing in three sets to Yannick Maden.

In the late game, Fernando Verdasco went down in a three-set tussle with Filip Krajinovic, the Spanish fifth seed knocked out after one hour and 51 minutes on court.

At the St Petersburg Open, Mikhail Kukushkin prevailed in a clash between two former champions.

Kukushkin, the sixth seed who lifted the title back in 2010, overcame 2017 champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

He is joined by Egor Gerasimov, the qualifier causing an upset as he downed seventh-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in straight sets, winning 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour.

Eighth seed Casper Ruud avoided a shock in his last-32 tie against Alexander Bublik, albeit the Norwegian had to rally from a set down for a 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 triumph.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed his first ATP Tour win since July at the Moselle Open, while Evgeny Donskoy booked a date with US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev at the St Petersburg Open.

After first-round defeats at the Rogers Cup and US Open, Tsonga this month dropped down to the Challenger Tour and won the Cassis Open without dropping a set.

The former world number five, a three-time champion in Metz, came from a set down to defeat Pablo Andujar 3-6 6-1 6-2 and set up a second-round clash with Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who downed eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

Pablo Carreno Busta made light work of Julian Lenz, triumphing 6-1 6-1 in just 57 minutes, and the Spaniard will face top seed David Goffin in round two.

There were also wins for Richard Gasquet, Lorenzo Sonego, Gregoire Barrere and Aljaz Bedene.

Donskoy overcame Matteo Viola 6-2 6-1 in St Petersburg but can expect a far sterner test against world number four and fellow Russian Medvedev in the second round.

Andrey Rublev rallied from a set down and then a break down in the third to triumph 4-6 6-0 6-4 against Ilya Ivashka. Ricardas Berankis awaits him after overcoming Dudi Sela 6-3 6-0 in 62 minutes.

Roberto Carballes Baena downed 2012 champion Martin Klizan 6-2 7-5, while Egor Gerasimov beat Lukas Rosol 7-5 6-2 and Janko Tipsarevic retired while 7-5 3-6 3-1 down to Damir Dzumhur.

Roger Federer has planned his schedule up until next year's Wimbledon and within a month intends to make a decision on playing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic singles gold is the only major title to have evaded Federer during his illustrious career, having gone closest when he lost in the final to Andy Murray at London 2012.

The 20-time major champion triumphed in the men's doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka four years prior in Beijing, but he was forced to sit out Rio 2016 due to a knee injury.

Federer is hopeful of having another shot at Olympic singles success but for now is only looking as far ahead as next year's Wimbledon.

"I'm very excited about the prospect of maybe playing the Olympic Games, but I'm not quite sure yet," said Federer, who is in Geneva ahead of the Laver Cup.

"My planning goes until Wimbledon next year which is a couple of weeks before the Olympics, so I guess I'm going to be deciding on the Olympic Games in the next few weeks, hopefully the next month or so.

"It's been such a special event for me over the years. Me and my wife in 2000 carrying the flag in Athens and Beijing for the Swiss Olympic delegation which was a huge dream for me come true.

"Winning doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in Beijing then getting the silver in London, at Wimbledon.

"So for me, maybe to be part of it again would be great, especially after missing the last edition in Rio because of a knee injury, but I'll just have to see how my family is doing, how my body is doing, and then if everything is green and I really feel it's the right thing to do, I'll play it, otherwise I'll skip it but it would definitely be a nice challenge, I admit."

Federer played the clay-court season for the first time since 2016 this year and reached the semi-finals of the French Open, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

Asked if he will return to the red dirt in 2020, Federer said: "I have decided for myself, but must think about when I announce it."

Novak Djokovic remains unsure when he will return from a shoulder injury, but the world number one is eyeing a comeback in Tokyo.

Djokovic retired during a last-16 clash against Stan Wawrinka at the US Open at the start of the month and reports suggested he may need surgery.

The Serbian star is still uncertain as to when he will return, but said he would ideally play at the Japan Open Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 tournament that starts on September 30, as scheduled.

"I would like to tell you when I will be back, but I really do not know exactly. I monitor the results of rehabilitation every day. I monitor how the shoulder responds to recovery," Djokovic told RTS on Monday.

"Unfortunately, the injury was of a more serious nature. It prevented me from continuing the tournament in New York. I'm very sorry.

"It's one of the four biggest tournaments, especially important in the second part of the season."

Djokovic added: "I hope to be on the court in a week or two. For now, in an ideal scenario, the plan is to play Tokyo."

The 32-year-old said he expected to have greater clarity over his return in the next week.

Djokovic has enjoyed another fine season, winning two grand slam titles to take his tally to 16, trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19).

Mikhail Kukushkin came through his first-round clash at the St Petersburg Open, but former Moselle Open champion Peter Gojowczyk crashed out in Metz.

There were just two main-draw matches in Russia on Monday, with seeds Kukushkin and Adrian Mannarino progressing.

Kukushkin won the tournament in 2010 for his first and only ATP Tour title to date, and the sixth seed had too much for Jannik Sinner in their opener, advancing 6-3 7-6 (7-4).

Meanwhile, Mannarino, the seventh seed, eased past Stefano Travaglia 7-5 6-2.

At the Moselle Open, however, the one-time winner in action was not able to reach the second round, with Gojowczyk undone by Filip Krajinovic.

Gojowczyk beat Benoit Paire in the 2017 final but went down 7-5 6-4 on Monday.

Fernando Verdasco has struggled for form in recent months - winning twice since Wimbledon - but got the better of Steve Darcis 6-2 6-2, while Frenchman Antoine Hoang defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

Former world number one Andy Murray said he would love to play Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer before they retire, but only if he is capable of beating the 'Big Three'.

Murray looked set to retire following January's Australian Open, however, the three-time grand slam champion is on the comeback trail after hip resurfacing surgery.

The 32-year-old – who dropped down to ATP Challenger level to take part in the Rafael Nadal Open having skipped the US Open – is set to feature at the Shanghai Masters after accepting a wildcard.

Murray will spend a couple of weeks in the Far East, competing in the Zhuhai Championships and China Open as he eyes next year's Australian Open following a brief ATP Tour singles return in August.

Asked about renewing his battle with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, Murray – who has played doubles this year to build his fitness – said: "I look forward to doing it if, physically, I am capable of competing with them.

"I don't look forward to going on the court against one of those guys and not feeling like I have a chance of winning which, if I played them tomorrow, that's how I would feel.

"When I practised with Novak in Australia at the beginning of this year, I found that hard, even though it was just practice. I felt terrible and I found that quite hard.

"If I'm able to compete against them and feel like I can win, even if it's a really small chance, then I will enjoy that, for sure. But, not feeling like I can be competitive and getting pumped, I probably wouldn't enjoy that."

Murray – now ranked 415 in the world – added: "I need matches just now. My body needs to build up some level of robustness. That's the reason for entering the [four straight] tournaments.

"And if I'm not getting matches [because of early defeats in each event] I'm at least around, practising with top players, getting my body more used to the speed and things."

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