European Open: Andy Murray beats Kimmer Coppejans in first round in Antwerp
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Andy Murray won his first ATP Tour-level match for 16 months in Europe since he beat Kimmer Coppejans.
The former world number one continued his return in hip surgery by defeating wildcard Coppejans, rated 158th in the world, 6-4 7-6 (7-4).
This week 32, murray, will face eighth seed Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or even Bolivian Hugo Dellien in the last 16.
Fellow Briton Cameron Norrie dropped 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 to Spains Feliciano Lopez.
Lopez, 38, proceeded to triumph in an hour and 29 minutes and asserted the only break of serve in the fifth game of the second set.
Norrie, ranked 61, had Lopez at but was unable to break .
Despite the defeat, the 24-year-old Norrie will develop into the number two supporting Dan Evans, who replaced Kyle Edmund in the top of the rankings this past week on Monday.
Edmund, who won the championship at 2018 in Antwerp, dropped in qualifying and will be set to fall outside the top 70.
Since hammering Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne three-time Grand Slam winner Murray gained his first success in Europe.
Murray held a 3-0 lead in the first place in him being busted back, although the Scot broke again in the game, however three faults resulted.
The next set was clinched by him in a game that lasted one hour 44 minutes at a tie-break.
Antwerp is likely to function as Murrays final tournament of the year, with the potential exception of the Davis Cup next month.
He hopes to play in the Australian Open in January however is planning a break when the European Open finishes and could depart Antwerp early if his wife goes with their third kid.
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