Murray battles back in Rotterdam to progress to next round

Andy Murray has dropped to 143rd in the world after two hip surgeries. Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Andy Murray was on the verge of another early exit on Monday in the ATP event in Rotterdam but rallied from 0-3 down in the deciding set to beat 193rd ranked Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in a match lasting over two-and-half-hours.

It was the first Tour-level win since August for Murray, who is currently ranked 123rd after sliding down the rankings due to two hip operations.

"It's not easy," Murray told reporters. "Every time I lose a match, I'm getting told to retire, that I should stop playing, that I'm finished, I've got nothing left and whatever and it's sad and all of these things.

"I feel like I'm playing for my career just now each time I step on the court, which is a motivation in some ways but it also adds a bit of extra stress.

"There's a bit of extra doubt there. And on top of that I'm playing with a metal hip, which is hard. Trust me, it's not easy. It's a big challenge for me just now and one that I'll meet head on."

Murray, who has deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts from his phone, had hip resurfacing surgery in early 2019 but made his comeback to win the Antwerp title nine months later.

"I've put in a lot of good physical work since then," Murray said, adding that he felt good physically despite the lengthy outing against Haase.

"Why should I stop because I lost a match last week against someone that people would expect me to win against. I can still compete with the best players in the world with one hip. I think that's quite amusing really."

Cameron Norrie continued his good start to 2021 with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

British No. 3 Norrie, who reached the third round of the Australian Open, won two matches in qualifying to reach the main draw.

Kei Nishikori broke a four-match losing streak on Monday with a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over seventh seed and last year's finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Auger-Aliassime received on-court treatment after the first game of the second set and couldn't find enough power to get past Nishikori who won the match in 67 minutes.

Marton Fucsovics won a two hours and 51 minutes battle against Reilly Opelka 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 7-6(4) after two hours and 51 minutes.

Opelka served 17 aces but Fucsovics withstood the pressure.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.