Murray digs deep to survive Citi Open marathon

Andy Murray dug deep to outlast Mackenzie McDonald 3-6 6-4 7-5 after almost three hours in Washington on Monday.

Andy Murray Citi Open

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray   -  Getty Images

Former world number one Andy Murray celebrated a winning return after rallying to beat Mackenzie McDonald in three sets at the ATP Citi Open.

Murray was making his comeback in Washington after withdrawing from Wimbledon, having returned to tennis following almost a year on the sidelines due to an ongoing hip injury.

The three-time Grand Slam champion lost to Nick Kyrgios at Queen's Club last month but trumped Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne before going down to fellow Brit Kyle Edmund prior to pulling out of Wimbledon on the eve of his home major.

However, Murray enjoyed a victorious return to the court at the ATP 500 tournament – the 2006 runner-up digging deep to outlast American opponent McDonald 3-6 6-4 7-5 after seven match points on Monday.

It was a difficult assignment for Murray, who will face countryman Edmund in the second round following his two hour, 37-minute battle.

Murray made a slugging start in DC, where he was serving at just 48 per cent and was broken three times as McDonald took control and the opening set.

Now ranked 832 in the world, Murray composed himself and broke serve in the opening game of the second set, only to hand the break straight to McDonald.

Murray's serve improved in the set – winning 71 per cent of his fist serves – while he claimed the decisive break at 5-4 to level the match.

It was more of the same in the decider as Murray broke at the fifth time of asking in the first game and retained that advantage until he attempted to serve for a spot in the second round at 5-4.

Murray earned five match points but he was unable to put away McDonald, who used his second break point to stay alive on centre court.

However, Murray put the match back on his serve the very next game before finally closing out the first-round clash at the seventh time of asking.