A rusty Andy Murray suffered a straight-sets defeat to Richard Gasquet in his singles comeback at the Western & Southern Open.

Murray won the doubles title at Queen's Club with Feliciano Lopez on his return to the ATP Tour in June after recovering from hip resurfacing surgery, which had put his career in doubt.

The three-time grand slam champion was back in competitive singles action sooner than expected in Cincinnati on Monday after taking a wildcard, but Gasquet consigned him to a 6-4 6-4 first-round defeat a fortnight before the US Open starts.

Murray, playing his first singles match since the Australian Open seven months ago, had a first-serve percentage of only 54 and did not hit a groundstroke winner until the second set but showed flashes of his class.

Gasquet, who has had injury issues of his own and underwent groin surgery in January, made Murray run more than he would have liked as he beat the Brit for the first time in seven years to set up a meeting with Dominic Thiem.

A nervy Murray started with a double fault and struggled with the ball toss as he quickly found himself 2-0 down but won the next three games to edge in front. 

Frenchman Gasquet unleashed a rasping forehand to go a break up for the second time at 4-3 and tormented Murray with three exquisite drop shots in the same game, before serving out the opening set to love. 

Murray showed his frustration after failing to hold in the first game of the second and Gasquet worked the former world number one from side to side as he maintained his advantage, but there was warm applause for Murray when he drilled a cross-court winner on the run.

He was not getting a look-in on the excellent Gasquet serve, though, and the world number 56 continued to have success with the drop shot as he wrapped up the victory, leaving Murray to turn his attention back to playing doubles with Lopez this week.

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open after winning the Rogers Cup.

The world number two claimed his 35th ATP Masters 1000 title with a 6-3 6-0 thrashing of Daniil Medvedev in the final in Montreal on Sunday.

But, after his run in Canada, Nadal has opted to skip the tournament in Cincinnati, where he won the title in 2013.

"World number two Rafael Nadal, our 2013 champion, has withdrawn from #CincyTennis citing fatigue," read a tweet from the tournament account.

Both Rogers Cup champions have decided not to play the event, with Bianca Andreescu also withdrawing.

Lucky loser Mikhail Kukushkin has taken Nadal's place in the draw, with Kei Nishikori in the same quarter and Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and the returning Andy Murray in the same half.

Murray will make his singles return in a first-round clash against Richard Gasquet on Monday.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and seven-time winner Roger Federer are on the other side of the draw.

Former finalist John Isner edged into the Western & Southern Open second round, while Alex de Minaur also moved through on Sunday.

Isner, runner-up in 2013, was pushed before the 13th seed overcame Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 7-5 at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

The American has endured a tough start to the hard-court swing in North America, winning just two of five matches heading into the tournament in Cincinnati.

Isner served 27 aces to get past Lajovic and will face either Pablo Carreno Busta or Gilles Simon in the second round.

De Minaur also progressed thanks to a 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-2 victory over Italian Marco Cecchinato.

The Australian will meet either Croatian 12th seed Borna Coric or American wildcard Reilly Opelka.

Andy Murray said he has "zero pain" as the three-time grand slam champion prepares to make his singles return at the Cincinnati Masters.

More than six months after undergoing a serious hip operation, Murray will make his singles comeback via the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Cincinnati.

Murray will face French veteran Richard Gasquet in the opening round after doubles appearances in Washington (Citi Open) and Montreal (Rogers Cup).

"I have zero pain," the former world number one said. "I'm not expecting to be moving as well as I used to but I still think I can probably move better than I am just now. But that will take time. I started playing singles again only a couple of weeks ago.

"Obviously, when you're playing at the highest level against the best players, they hit the ball big and it takes time to get used to that again. And there's still some improvement to come from my hip operation."

Murray last played singles at the Australian Open, where he suggested retirement could be on the horizon before falling to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.

Since having surgery in January, Murray has already won a doubles title – teaming up with Feliciano Lopez to claim victory at the Queen's Club.

"Pain-wise, obviously, I don't have pain in my hip," Murray said. "Recovering from practices that I had? Fine, there were no issues later in the day with my hip.

"And then performances in practices with top singles players. At some stage you have to take the step to try to play. My team felt like this was the right time to do that. That's why I'm giving it a go."

Murray added: "It's gonna be difficult but that's just what you have to deal with. That's the situation I'm in and I would have signed up for being in this position that I'm in right now six months ago. Absolutely."

If Murray's comeback to the singles circuit does not go according to plan, the 32-year-old said he would be willing to drop down to ATP Challenger events.

"If things don't go well and I feel like it might take me a little longer to get up to this level, then that's definitely an option," he said. "That's something I'd be fine with doing.

"Ultimately, I'd like to be competing at this level. The quickest way to get up to speed is by being on the practice and match court with top players in my opinion."

Rafael Nadal surpassed Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 finals after Gael Monfils withdrew from their Rogers Cup semi-final.

Nadal, the top seed and defending champion, was scheduled to face the Frenchman in a last-four clash in Montreal on Saturday.

However, Monfils withdrew before the encounter, the 32-year-old having edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a quarter-final earlier in the day.

The clash between Monfils and Bautista Agut was pushed back due to rain before the former needed almost two and a half hours to win 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2).

Nadal will aim for his fifth Rogers Cup title when he faces Russian Daniil Medvedev in the final in what will be their first meeting.

It will mark his 51st ATP Masters 1000 final, moving ahead of Federer (50) and Novak Djokovic (49).

The Spaniard also has a chance to extend his record for most ATP Masters 1000 titles, sitting on 34 – one more than Djokovic.

Nadal broke another record of Federer's earlier this week, passing the Swiss great for most match wins at Masters events.

Daniil Medvedev continued his impressive run at the Rogers Cup, reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final with a straight-sets win over Karen Khachanov.

Medvedev is yet to drop a set in Montreal and the eighth seed overcame fellow Russian Khachanov 6-1 7-6 (8-6) in their semi-final on Saturday.

The 23-year-old moved into his ninth ATP Tour final – and fifth of the year – but first at Masters level.

Medvedev dominated the first set against Khachanov, losing just three points on serve and breaking twice.

Khachanov twice came from a break down in the second set before giving up a 4-2 lead in the tie-break, Medvedev winning four of the final five points to progress.

Rafael Nadal expressed his happiness for Andy Murray after the three-time major champion's imminent return to singles action was confirmed.

Murray has not played singles tennis on the ATP Tour since the Australian Open in January, where he suggested he could retire this year amid continued struggles with a hip injury.

However, after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery, the Briton has since successfully taken to playing doubles and is now in line to play alone at the Cincinnati Masters next week.

He faces a tough draw, potentially facing Dominic Thiem in the second round, but Nadal - also in the same half - is delighted for Murray and for the sport.

"It's good news for the sport - and especially great news for him," Nadal said. "That means that he's healthy.

"That's going to be a big, big moment for him. After all the retirement that he predicted in Australia, six months later it seems like he's back again, healthy, competing well.

"That's going to be a big thing for him. I'm happy."

Nadal was speaking after rallying past Fabio Fognini 2-6 6-1 6-2 into the Rogers Cup semi-finals, but he brushed off suggestions this was the best form of his historic career.

"No, I am not better than ever before. I am how I am today," he said. "I'm having a good season more or less, being competitive almost in every single event that I have been playing.

"Of course, I had some physical issues the first three, four months of the season.

"But I have been playing solid, I played the final in Australia, then semi-finals in Indian Wells, then three semi-finals on clay, two titles, semi-finals at Wimbledon.

"So I have been solid, and semi-finals here now. I'm happy with the way that I am competing and enjoying."

Andy Murray has been handed a tricky draw for his singles return at the Cincinnati Masters.

The former world number one is making his comeback in singles just over six months after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery and having returned in doubles.

Having accepted a wildcard into the ATP Masters 1000 event, Murray – a three-time grand slam champion – is facing a tough run.

Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the opening round and he holds an 8-3 win-loss record over the Frenchman.

If the two-time Cincinnati champion can win his opener, Murray will face fourth seed Dominic Thiem, while the Brit is in the same quarter as Alexander Zverev and half as Rafael Nadal.

Murray last played singles at the Australian Open, losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round, and at the time suggested he was facing retirement.

However, Murray described his latest operation, which has left him pain-free, as "life-changing" and he is now on the brink of completing a remarkable return to top-level singles action.

Last year's finalists, champion Novak Djokovic and runner-up Roger Federer, are returning to action for the first time since Wimbledon at the tournament.

Rafael Nadal moved into the Rogers Cup semi-finals as Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem crashed out on Friday.

Nadal was pushed early before getting past Fabio Fognini in their quarter-final clash in Montreal, where the Spanish great stayed on track in his title defence.

Rain saw the day's final match – between Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut – pushed back, but not before Thiem and Zverev made straightforward exits.

 

NADAL SURVIVES FOGNINI TEST

Nadal, the 18-time grand slam champion, was troubled early before proving too good for Italian seventh seed Fognini 2-6 6-1 6-2.

The Spaniard has now won 12 of 16 meetings between the pair, impressively losing just 12 points on serve in the final two sets.

But Nadal must wait to find out his semi-final opponent after the rain arrived in Montreal.

Monfils and Bautista Agut had played just two points when their clash was stopped and pushed back to Saturday.

 

RUSSIAN DUO CAUSE UPSETS

Thiem and Zverev, the second and third seeds respectively, bowed out with straight-sets losses.

Daniil Medvedev had lost his previous two meetings with Thiem, but the Russian needed less than an hour to crush the Austrian 6-3 6-1.

He will face compatriot Karen Khachanov, who rushed past 2017 champion Zverev 6-3 6-3.

Rafael Nadal kept his Rogers Cup title defence alive with a three-set victory over Fabio Fognini in their quarter-final on Friday.

The top seed struggled to deal with Fognini early before coming from behind to secure a 2-6 6-1 6-2 win against the Italian seventh seed in Montreal.

Nadal lost to Fognini at Monte Carlo earlier this year, but his win at the ATP Masters 1000 event marked his 12th in 16 meetings between the pair.

A four-time champion at the tournament, the Spanish great – who now has 40 wins this year – was in trouble early as Fognini made a flying start.

Nadal, an 18-time grand slam winner, sent a forehand long to fall 2-1 behind as Fognini raced out to a 5-1 lead before claiming the opening set.

However, that drew a response from Nadal, who won the first nine points of the second set, Fognini unable to recover from a 3-0 deficit.

A break in the opening game of the decider set up Nadal, who dropped just five points on serve during the set to secure his spot in the last four.

Former world number one Andy Murray has announced he will make his singles comeback in the Cincinnati Masters, which starts in Ohio on Sunday.

Murray suggested he was facing likely retirement during an emotional news conference at Melbourne Park in January, but the Briton has gradually offered a more optimistic outlook since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery and making a successful return as a doubles player.

Just five months on from his major operation, the 32-year-old won the men's doubles at Queen's Club in June alongside Feliciano Lopez.

He then also featured in the men's and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, partnering Serena Williams in the latter, before playing in the Citi Open alongside brother Jamie and teaming up with Lopez again at the Rogers Cup.

Murray has now determined he is ready to try his hand at competitive singles action once again, confirming on Facebook that he had accepted a wildcard into the Cincinnati Masters.

"That feeling when you accept a wildcard for the singles in Cinci," Murray posted on his official Facebook page, together with the hashtags "#LetsDoThis" and "#HereWeGo".

The announcement is sure to fuel speculation over Murray's potential participation in the US Open, a tournament he won in 2012 to claim the first of his three grand slam titles to date.

He went on to win Wimbledon twice after that breakthrough success at Flushing Meadows, his first triumph in 2013 ending a 77-year wait for a British men's singles champion at the grass-court slam.

Murray reached the top of the world rankings in November 2016 before his long-term hip issues became more debilitating.

After undergoing hip surgery in January 2018, Murray struggled on his comeback and cut a disconsolate figure in Melbourne this year when he suggested his illustrious career was coming to an end.

However, Murray described his latest operation, which has left him pain-free, as "life-changing" and he is now on the brink of completing a remarkable return to top-level singles action.

Rafael Nadal set a record on his way to the Rogers Cup quarter-finals, while Alexander Zverev battled through on Thursday.

Nadal, the defending champion, surpassed Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 wins after brushing past Guido Pella in Montreal.

Zverev, the winner in 2017, was pushed to a final-set tie-break before edging past Nikoloz Basilashvili.

All eight quarter-finalists are seeds, who dominated to move into the last eight.

 

NADAL SURPASSES FEDERER WITH PELLA POUNDING

Top seed Nadal made it four wins from as many meetings with Pella thanks to a 6-3 6-4 victory.

The win was his 379th at ATP Masters 1000 level, moving past Federer's tally of 378.

Nadal will next face Fabio Fognini after the seventh seed got past Adrian Mannarino 6-2 7-5.

The Spanish great has been troubled by Fognini in the past, losing to the Italian in Monte Carlo earlier this year.

ZVEREV SURVIVES MAJOR TEST

Zverev, the third seed, was pushed by Basilashvili, fighting his way to a 7-5 5-7 7-6 (7-5) victory.

The German served 15 aces and 14 double faults but also created 18 break points, converting five.

Basilashvili edged Zverev in a final-set tie-break in Hamburg last month.

Zverev faces another test in the last eight, with Karen Khachanov awaiting after the Russian sixth seed overcame Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 6-3.

TREMENDOUS THIEM POWERS THROUGH

Second seed Dominic Thiem booked his spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 victory over Croatian Marin Cilic.

Thiem will face Daniil Medvedev, the Russian eighth seed having cruised past Cristian Garin 6-3 6-3.

Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut will also meet after wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Richard Gasquet respectively.

Rafael Nadal surpassed Roger Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 wins with a comfortable victory over Guido Pella in the Rogers Cup third round on Thursday.

The defending champion eased to a 6-3 6-4 victory over Pella for his 379th win at ATP Masters 1000 level, going past Federer's tally of 378.

Nadal was in control throughout against a player he had beaten in straight sets in each of their previous three meetings.

The 18-time grand slam champion was untroubled, winning in one hour, 41 minutes to reach the quarter-finals in Montreal.

A mishit forehand from Pella handed Nadal the only break of the opening set in the second game and it was all the Spaniard needed.

Nadal broke again early in the second set, a brilliant forehand setting up an overhead at the net as he took a 2-1 lead.

However, Pella responded by breaking back in the sixth game, only for Nadal to restore his lead.

Nadal took a 4-3 lead by breaking to 15 when Pella sent a forehand well long, as he eased into the last eight and past Federer for most ATP Masters 1000 victories.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have joined fellow legend Novak Djokovic on the ATP player council.

Jamie Murray, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Robin Haase stepped down from the council following a meeting at the All England Club prior to Wimbledon.

Djokovic also acknowledged he considered joining the walkout but decided to stay on to try and resolve unfinished business.

The world number one will now be joined by fellow stars Federer and Nadal, who along with Jurgen Melzer, have replaced Stakhovsky, Murray and Haase.

"They will begin their roles with immediate effect and will serve until the end of the existing term which runs through to Wimbledon 2020," an ATP statement read.

"The position of coach representative, following the resignation of Daniel Vallverdu, is to be determined in due course."

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