The opening day of the 10th Winston-Salem Open, the final tune-up event before the US Open begins next Monday, saw eight first-round matches with three-time major champion Andy Murray the featured attraction.
The most anticipated first-round match was between Murray and Nick Kyrgios, but the Australian withdrew just a few hours before he was scheduled to face Murray, citing a knee injury, allowing Noah Rubin, a graduate of Wake Forest, where the tournament is being held, to be granted entry into the draw as a lucky loser.
Murray needed just 58 minutes to dismantle Rubin 6-2, 6-0. He won 92 percent of his first-serve points and broke the American five times in just his sixth singles tour-level match of 2021. The Brit will next face 13th seed Frances Tiafoe for the first time.
Elsewhere, Gilles Simon prevailed in an all-French showdown against Arthur Rinderknech, winning 7-5, 6-3 to set up a meeting with another Frenchman, 12th seed Benoit Paire.
Marco Cecchinato came out on top against Tennys Sandgren 6-4, 6-4 and will challenge 16th seed Dominik Koepfer in the second round. Soon-woo Kwon had a fairly easy time with Radu Albot, coming out on top 6-2, 7-5. The South Korean faces top seed Pablo Carreno Busta next.
Egor Gerasimov needed three sets to see off Norbert Gombos 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2 to set up a match with 14th seed Richard Gasquet under the lights on Monday. Marcos Giron defeated Facundo Bagnis 7-5, 6-4 and will face another Argentine next in 10th seed Federico Delbonis.
Mikael Ymer and Thiago Monteiro both went the distance to earn their victories. Ymer knocked off Stefano Travaglia 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 to earn a date with 11th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Monteiro edged James Duckworth 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) and will face second seed David Goffin next.
Ten more singles matches, eight of them first-rounders and six doubles matches will take place on Monday with the top two seeded teams seeing action. The 16 seeded players were granted first-round byes with two of them, Gasquet and Koepfer, in action on Monday.