The three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has made a winning debut at the ATP 250 event in Antwerp, defeating the home player Kimmer Coppejans 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 44 minutes. Antwerp is the fourth consecutive tournament for the Briton with at least one victory, making another step towards better ranking position ahead of 2020 season when he should compete for the ATP titles again.
It was the 12th ATP match in a career for the 25-year-old Belgian who held the place in the top-100 for a couple of weeks in June 2015, never returning there again in the last four years and building his ranking points around the Challenger circuit.
He fought well against Andy, though, securing three breaks from five opportunities and leading 3-1 in the second set before Andy erased the deficit and brought the victory home, thinking much more about his wife Kim who should give a berth to a child these days.
The Briton made a flying start, taking 12 of the first 15 points and earning a break in the second game when Kimmer sent a forehand long. The Belgian broke back in the fifth game thanks to a loose forehand from Murray who wasted two chances on the return in the eighth game before securing the crucial break two games later for a 6-4.
Kimmer kept fighting, earning two breaks at the beginning of the second set and opening a 3-1 advantage with a hold at love in game four. Fending off a break point in the fifth game, Andy regained the composure and broke back a few minutes later after a picture-perfect drop shot that brought him back to 3-3.
Both players served well in the next six games to set up a tie break where Murray grabbed five mini-breaks and secured the spot in the second round after a smash error from Coppejans in the 11th point.