ATP Western & Southern Open Day 1 wrapup: Murray, Shapovalov, Anderson, Raonic among winners
Photo: Matthew Stockman

The opening day of the Western and Southern Open with a bevy of appealing matches to kick off the action as the ATP Tour resumed after more than five months out of action due to COVID-19. 

Winners included Andy Murray, who slipped past Frances Tiafoe in three sets, 12th seed Denis Shapovalov, Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic among the 12 first-round matches that were played.

Murray overcomes Tiafoe challenge

Murray marked his 100th career Masters 1000 event with a 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-1 victory Tiafoe in two and a half hours. The first set saw no breaks, the Brit saving a break point in the 11th game. Tiafoe jumped out to a 5-2 in the tiebreaker after a double-fault by Murray.

The three-time major champion fought back and saved a set point down 6-5 and three points later, a forehand winner gave him the opening set. Tiafoe broke in the eighth game of the second set with an exquisite backhand drop volley and served out the set a game later to level the match.

The deciding set proved to be one-side as Murray raced out to a 3-0 lead as errors began to creep into the American's game. He gained a second break after a backhand winner and proceeded to serve out the match to love.

"I thought I moved well today", he said following the match. "That's probably the thing I was most happy with and probably the thing I was most apprehensive with going into the match. I thought I moved pretty well. My tennis could have been better.

"I did some things well at the end, but I could definitely improve in terms of my game."

Canadians perfect on first day of action

The three high-profile Canadians in action were all victorious. 12th seed Shapovalov looked impressive in dismissing 2016 champion Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3. The lefty fired nine aces and won 60 percent of his second serve points in the 79-minute contest.

Shapovalov won all nine of his service games against Cilic/Photo: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Shapovalov won all nine of his service games against Cilic/Photo: Peter Staples/ATP Tour

"I don't think I could have played much better", he said. "It was really tough to play Marin [in the first round]. "He's such an amazing player, and he's proven that time and time again. It was definitely not easy for both of us out there, so I'm really happy to get a win against him and start back really strong."

16th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime overcame a break deficit twice in the first set to post a 6-4, 6-1 win over hard-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili. A break in the opening game saw Basilashvili jump ahead and after Auger-Aliassime fought back, the Georgian again broke in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead.

The 18-year old then won the final three games of the set and after each man held to begin the second set, Auger-Aliassime won the final five games of the match as Basilashvili's game collapsed under the weight of 36 unforced errors.

"Feels unbelievable, feels great", he assessed after the victory. "Obviously with no crowd and less emotions involved, we don't see it or feel it as much. But i've been looking forward to coming back to competition and there's no better way to start than a match like this."

Out on Court 17, where Auger-Aliassime was victorious earlier in the day, Raonic blistered 19 aces and won 87 percent of his first serves in an efficient 6-4, 6-4 victory over Sam Querrey. The Canadian converted on all three of his break points in the 75-minute match.

"I've been playing really well the last few weeks, and I'm happy with how I dealt with a lot of things. There are a lot of things out of my control that you can't mimic in practice."

Opelka, Fritz, Anderson lead other winners

Anderson battled past Kyle Edmund 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3 to set up a blockbuster second-round match with fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Reilly Opelka eased past qualifier Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 while Taylor Fritz blew away Adelaide finalist Lloyd Harris 6-1, 6-3.

Anderson hits a forehand during his first-round match at the Western and Southern Open/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Anderson hits a forehand during his first-round match at the Western and Southern Open/Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Filip Krajinovic knocked off qualifier Salvatore Caruso 7-5, 6-4 to set up a meeting with second seed Dominic Thiem. Pablo Carreno Busta was victorious over Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-1 while Jan-Lennard Struff breezed past Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4 and will next face Shapovalov. 

Qualifier Ricardas Berankis needed six match points to outlast wild card Tommy Paul 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4 and will advance to face top seed Novak Djokovic. Finally, Borna Coric was ahead 6-0, 1-0 when Benoit Paire was forced to retire with illness. The Croat next plays seventh seed David Goffin.

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