Kyrgios withdraws, Murray advances past lucky loser Rubin

The Andy Murray vs. Nick Kyrgios match didn’t happen, but Murray still picked up a win at the Winston-Salem Open on Sunday. Murray defeated lucky loser Noah Rubin.

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Nick Kyrgios withdrew from the Western & Southern Open on Sunday evening, putting an end to his highly-anticipated match against Andy Murray before it even started. Citing a knee injury, Kyrgios made the decision less than an hour before the night session was scheduled to begin.

“I was in Florida, in Bradenton rehabbing and training and came here obviously excited to play here,” the Australian explained. “I love the facility; it’s really great. To play Andy Murray — one of my good friends and a tennis icon — would have been amazing, but obviously I have to look after my body. I just didn’t feel as if the risk was worth [playing] today. I’ve got to be more cautious with it, keep rehabbing, keep training.

“I just need a bit more time. As a professional athlete playing on tour for this long, I want to look after my body. I want to do it right.”

Murray makes quick work of Rubin

Murray, who obviously knows a thing or two about injuries himself, ended up facing Noah Rubin. Interestingly, Rubin has lost in Winston-Salem qualifying a matter of minutes before he received the news that he had second life in the tournament as a lucky loser. A former standout at Wake Forest University, which is the site of this tournament, Rubin had less than an hour of rest in between matches.

Unsurprisingly, the American struggled physically against Murray following his three-set loss to Lucas Pouille and he bowed out against the Scot 6-2, 6-0 in only 58 minutes. From 2-2 in the opening set, Murray reeled off the last 10 games of the match in succession.

“Originally I was playing Nick and he had an injury to his knee so wasn’t going to play,” Murray said during his on-court interview. “I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight. They said if I was playing against a qualifier then I wouldn’t play and then I drew a lucky loser. So then I was playing Noah.

“It was tricky. It was obviously difficult for 45 minutes and then the first couple of games because you’ve gone over a strategy with your coach about the match you’re going to play and then obviously that changes…. Twenty minutes before you go on court you’re playing someone you haven’t played against.”

Next up for the three-time Grand Slam champion — barring another unexpected turn of events — is Frances Tiafoe.

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