Murray beaten by fellow Briton Edmund at Eastbourne

Virginia Santiago
July 2, 2018

Murray, 31, looked sharp and confident in winning 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Nature Valley International.

"So I have made decent improvements the last couple of weeks and obviously have been somewhat competitive in the matches that I have played".

Fifth seed Jelena Ostapenko overpowered Romanian Mihaela Buzanescu 6-1 6-2 and will face Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska who was given a walkover by former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova after the third seed withdrew with a hamstring injury.

It was hard to tell that Murray was playing only his second match back - such was the level of tennis he produced.

"Beating Andy is a bit unusual, he's always been my idol, and I've got to know him well over the years", Edmund said.

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Fellow British player Cameron Norrie will join Edmund in the last eight following his 6-4 6-3 win against Jay Clarke.

Murray's defeat was his second in three matches since his return from long-term hip problems that sidelined him for nearly a year.

At Eastbourne they met in the first round of the ATP 250 event ranked 156th and 225th respectively. You know, today was also a very different match.With Nick there was quite - I felt like I was returning, you know, huge, huge serves but also getting more free points on my serve.

Murray, on the comeback trail from an extended layoff after undergoing hip surgery, is fresh off his first victory in almost a year: a Monday win over Stan Wawrinka in straight sets.

Wawrinka, 33, was missing for six months before returning at the Australian Open in January, then needed another three months out before coming back in Rome last month.

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'The day after a match past year I would have hit the following day, but after the match against Nick [Kyrgios] I was in the swimming pool, had a bit of massage, then spent an hour and a half with my physio, ' he wrote in his BBC column.

Murray was patient and precise throughout, forcing Wawrinka into a number of wild errors, as he again defied expectations.

After Murray brought up three break points with a bedazzling combination of backhand slices, Edmund fired down a collection of booming serves to keep him at bay and consolidate the break.

That edgy service game showed even someone of Murray's class and stature still has nerves when it comes to closing out what is an important milestone in his recovery. "I thought the first set I played well, but the second set was patchy and I was a bit nervous". The Danish player next faces eighth-seeded Ashleigh Barty.

The grass-court cunning which has taken Murray to two Wimbledon titles and an Olympic gold on Centre Court was very much in evidence, and he was comfortably too clever and consistent for Wawrinka on this occasion.

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