Quite a reaction, considering this was merely a first-round victory over an inexperienced opponent who recently cracked the top 100 for the first time. Murray made the most of it when McDonald hit a forehand long to end matters at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday after two hours and 37 minutes.
There were stretches when Murray looked very much like exactly what he is at the moment: a guy working his back from an operation in January. Murray squandered five match points while serving at 5-4 in the third set and another at 6-5 before closing out the win. He won on his seventh, though.
He has a wild card into Cincinnati in two weeks as preparation for the US Open, which starts August 27 in NY. But he's ranked just 832nd now, on account of so much time away. After losing in the first round at Queen's in June and then the second round at Eastbourne, with his conqueror there being Edmund.
This match was only Murray's fourth of 2018.
"I'll certainly have to play better tennis", Murray said.
"The movements and stuff were fine". I chased balls down. "It lasted pretty well". This is Murray's first hard-court event since last year's BNP Paribas Open.
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Murray went 2-0 up with an early break of serve against McDonald but then lost his next two service games as the American took the early advantage.
Playing in just his third tournament in almost a year, the former world No. 1 is trying to raise his ranking back up from its current standing of No. 832.
Wawrinka, the world number 198 coming back from a left knee injury that kept him out almost eight of the past 11 months, was set to face United States qualifier Donald Young in a later match. Getting matches under his belt by playing several tournaments also seems to be a good decision, as winning titles so soon seems to be unlikely.
Tunisia's Malek Jaziri booked a second-round match against third-ranked defending champion Alexander Zverev of Germany by defeating Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-1.
Marius Copil, Romania, def. Mirza Basic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 7-6 (9), 6-4.
The Scot is scheduled to make his return to the tour on the US hard courts in Washington this week ahead of the US Open in August, with a match against Mackenzie McDonald in the first round of the Citi Open.