Andy Murray continued his comeback from hip surgery with a 7-6, 7-5 loss to world number 73 Tennys Sandgren in the Winston-Salem first round.
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There was a notable improvement in Murray's performance compared to his last match, with the Brit more assertive in his play and willing to chase down balls.
Murray made an excellent start to the match, putting pressure on the Sandgren serve in a 14-minute opening game which saw nine deuces and one break point. Sandgren eventually held, and both men did well on serve for the rest of the set.
In the tie-break though, Murray fell behind. He saved three set points, but his attempt to put away a stretch volley found the net and the American won the tie-break 10-8.
The former world number one made a poor start to the second set and struggled to match the form he showed earlier in the match. He fought hard to recover from a double break down, breaking as Sandgren served for the match at 5-4.
But Sandgren broke straight back and served the match out on his next attempt.
Murray was positive despite the defeat:
"I think my ball striking was better than last week. I hit quite a few more winners, came to the net quite a lot. Obviously I didn't win but I do feel I was a bit more in control of what was happening out there."
Murray won't be competing at next week's US Open but may instead play on the ATP Challenger Tour. He is considering whether to compete in next week's Challenger event in Mallorca.