In the battler of the players with a wild card, the three-time Major champion Andy Murray defeated Frances Tiafoe 7-6, 3-6, 6-1. The encounter lasted for two and a half hours, with Murray taming his strokes nicely to prevail after a strong performance in the decider, earning his first victory since the Davis Cup Finals last November.
Murray got broken only once, fending off a set point in the first set tie break and starting all over in the final set to leave the youngster behind and set the clash against Alexander Zverev. Tiafoe wasted a break chance at 5-5 in the opener following a service winner from Murray who found himself 5-2 down in the breaker.
Andy bounced back and defended a set point at 5-6 with another service winner, winning three straight points and securing the set after a forehand down the line winner at 7-6. Frances grabbed a break at 4-3 in the second set thanks to a perfect volley winner, securing a set in the next game when Murray netted a forehand to force a decider.
There, Andy played on a higher level, clinching breaks in games two and six and moving over the top with a hold at love at 5-1. Borna Coric stayed on the court for 35 minutes, leading 6-0, 1-0 before the Frenchman retired, propelling the Croat into the second round.
Jan-Lennard Struff made a strong comeback, beating Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 21 minutes. The German fended off both break chances he offered to Alex, playing well on the second serve return to seize three breaks and seal the deal in straight sets.
Settling into an excellent rhythm, Struff grabbed an early break and delivered another one at 4-2, closing the opener on his serve for a 6-2. Leading 3-2, de Minaur wasted those two break chances in the second set, lost the ground, suffered a break in the next game and allowed Jan-Lennard to seal the deal with a volley winner at 5-4.
In the clash of two rivals born in 1997, Taylor Fritz ousted Lloyd Harris 6-1, 6-3 in 52 minutes for the 16th Masters 1000 victory.
Andy Murray defeated Frances Tiafoe in three sets in first match of the season.
Taylor produced fury from the initial shot, winning all 22 points behind the first serve and never facing troubles in his games.
Harris was miles from that pace, getting broken twice in each set to push Taylor into the second round. Fritz had a massive advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, controlling his strokes nicely and emerging at the top in just over 50 minutes.
The American won 12 of the first 13 points for a 3-0 advantage, securing another break at 4-1 and closing the opener with a service winner in game seven. From 3-2 down in set number two, Taylor rattled off four straight games to race towards the finish line in style.