ANTWERP, Belgium — Andy Murray won a tour-level match in Europe for the first time in 16 months Tuesday as he beat Belgian wild card Kimmer Coppejans 6-4, 7-6 (4) at the European Open.
The former No. 1, who is still working his way back to his best after having hip surgery in January, took a 3-0 lead in the first set before double-faulting three times to be broken back. He broke again in the 10th game to seal the set but had to come from a break down twice in the second to force the tiebreaker.
It was the two-time Wimbledon champion’s first victory on European soil since beating Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne in June 2018. He will face eighth-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay or Bolivian Hugo Dellien in the second round.
Gilles Simon also advanced, beating home favourite Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-2, while Jan-Lennard Struff needed just 44 minutes to race past Gregoire Barrere of France 6-2, 6-1.
Soonwoo Kwon rallied from a set down to upset 2016 winner Richard Gasquet 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Feliciano Lopez beat Cameron Norrie 7-6 (2), 6-4. Lopez will face Wawrinka for a place in the quarterfinals.