By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray will face Teymuraz Gabashvili in the first round
- British hopefuls fell in qualifying
- Aljaz Bedene loses in the first round of Kitzbuhel
WASHINGTON DC, USA- Andy Murray will kick off his US hard court season Wednesday night, as he faces Teymuraz Gabashvili in the opening round of the Citi Open.
The British number one arrives in Washington as the top seed, meaning he got a BYE in to the second round of the tournament. The world number three is playing his first match since leading Great Britain to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup last month.
With the extra week to prepare for Wimbledon and the Davis Cup quarter final against France being played at Queens, Murray’s grass court season lasted a bit longer than most. He will be making the transition from the lawns of Great Britain to the hard courts of America this week, as the US Open preparations begin.
The Brit’s first Grand Slam title came in New York three years ago, and he is eager to replicate that success when the tour hits Flushing Meadows at the end of August.
His Georgia-born Russia-based opponent needed three sets to defeat Germany’s Benjamin Becker 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday and earn a second round meeting with Murray. The world number 53 has played the Brit once before, with Murray pulling through 6-1, 7-5 in the Shanghai masters last year.
Murray was not the only Briton looking for Washington success. Kyle Edmund, James Ward and Liam Broady all entered the qualifying draw for the Citi Open, but unfortunately they could not get past the first hurdle and all three failed to qualify for the event.
British number two Aljaz Bedene was in action in Kitzbuhel this week, but lost in the opening round to local wildcard Dennis Novak (2) 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 on Monday.
So for now, Murray is the only British male left in action this week.
Murray is scheduled to play at 00:30 BST Thursday morning. If you are still awake you can follow his progress via the Britwatch Live Scores