Murray lost his first-round match against Richard Gasquet at the Western & Southern Open 6-4 6-4, ending a seven-month absence from singles tennis.
After the match, the three-time grand slam winner admitted that he had needed more time to consider playing singles at the final major of the year, which starts in New York later this month, but was unable to delay his decision to accept a wild card offered by the United States Tennis Association.
“We were hoping to maybe hold a wild card until a little bit closer to the time to see how I feel and get some matches hopefully and a bit of practice,” the 32-year-old told reporters.
“I didn’t want to take a wild card today [Monday] because I just didn’t know how I was going to feel after a match. I felt like I wanted to be fair for me to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that.”
An uphill battle
It’s been a long road back for Murray, who broke down in tears following his exit from January’s Australian Open, fearing his career might be over.
But playing pain free, Murray believed there were positives to take from the loss to Gasquet in Cincinnati.
“I think I did okay. I think there was a lot of things I would like to have done better in the match, but you also have to be somewhat realistic, as well, in terms of what you can expect in terms of how you actually play and hit the ball,” the Briton said.
“Richard, he uses all of the angles on the court. He’s one of the best at doing that. So I was having to move quite a lot laterally, and I didn’t move forward particularly well.
“When he drop-shotted, there was a few times I didn’t even run to the ball, didn’t react to it, and that’s nothing to do with my hip.
“That’s just me not running for a ball, which I did do that better at the end of the match. I reacted and got to a few and won points.”
The former world No.1 has added two ATP singles events in China to his schedule — the inaugural Zhuhai Championships and the Beijing Open — with the former starting in late September.
He has been competing in doubles and mixed doubles since returning from hip surgery this summer, marking his return to tennis by winning the doubles in the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in June with Feliciano Lopez.
The Scot was partnered by Pierre-Hugues Herbert at Wimbledon in the doubles while he played with Serena Williams — dubbed ‘SerAndy’ — in the mixed doubles.
The 2012 US Open champion confirmed his intentions to play doubles and mixed doubles in Flushing Meadows, which begins on 26 August.