Former tennis world No 1 Andy Murray came back from a set down and under pressure at 3-3 in the second set to beat sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the first round of the Moselle Open in Metz on Tuesday.
The Scot, 34, won seven straight games en route to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory in two hours and 24 minutes.
“I had some chances early in the first set and didn’t take them, then he had his break point at the end of the first set and hit a really good return,” Murray said.
“He then had a good hold at 5-4. He played a little bit better and in the second and third sets, it was the other way around. He didn’t play well when he had his opportunities and I took mine.
“I’ve found it tough in the past few years that I don’t know some players that well and it’s difficult to play against them and win. Today, I felt I had a good game plan and executed it pretty well.”
Wild card Murray, who is making his first appearance in the French city of Metz since losing to Tommy Robredo in the 2007 final, will face Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the second round.
Elsewhere, seventh seed Karen Khachanov lost just four of his first-service points (39/43) and hit 11 aces to beat French qualifier Alexandre Muller 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, and will go on to play the winner between German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk and French lucky loser Antoine Hoang.
Russia’s Khachanov, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the Tokyo Olympics gold medal match, is bidding to finish inside the top 30 in the ATP Rankings for the fourth straight year.
American Marcos Giron set up a second-round encounter against fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur after he recorded a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 win over Arthur Rinderknech of France.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina knocked out three-time former champion Gilles Simon 6-7(4), 7-6(2), 6-2 and now plays eighth-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.