Nick Kyrgios pulls out of the Winston-Salem Open, paving the way for Andy Murray to breeze into the second round with a win over fourth lucky loser option Noah Rubin for the loss of just two games to set up a meeting with Frances Tiafoe
Last Updated: 23/08/21 10:33am
Andy Murray beat lucky loser Noah Rubin 6-2 6-0 to make it into the next round of the Winston-Salem Open after his original opponent Nick Kyrgios withdrew through injury.
Murray, a wildcard at the tournament in North Carolina, was due to face Kyrgios in the first round but the Australian withdrew on Sunday evening citing a left knee injury.
American Rubin stepped in but the Brit wrapped up a set lead inside 35 minutes, breaking for 4-2 and again for the set.
The second was a swifter affair, Murray breaking the world No 306 three times to wrap up a 6-2 6-0 win inside an hour.
Murray called it “the strangest situation” he has ever been in 17 years into his career with three lucky losers pulling out of the match in the space of 45 before fourth lucky loser Rubin stepped up having only just lost to Frenchman Lucas Pouille 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Max Purcell and Yosuke Watanuki all declined the offer to play Murray with the ATP rulebook stating that any lucky loser would only receive prize money from the final qualifying round should they lose in the first-round proper.
Rubin later tweeted: “To everyone who came out to support Murray/Kyrgios match, was fun playing in front of you. Tried to put on a show, but didn’t have much left. Was a brutal day, but this is tennis, and what a weird way to come back. Always at home here at Wake. See ya soon black and gold.”
To everyone who came out to support Murray/Kyrgios match, was fun playing in front of you. Tried to put on a show, but didn’t have much left. Was a brutal day, but this is tennis, and what a weird way to come back. Always at home here at Wake. See ya soon black and gold. #deacs
— Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33) August 23, 2021
Murray, who will go on to face Frances Tiafoe next, said: “It was a very, very odd situation an hour before going on. The conditions here are brutal and a lot of those guys played matches during the day. If I was in that situation I would have probably wanted to play but I don’t know the situation of the other guys.”
Dan Evans, seeded third, will face the winner of the match between Lucas Pouille and Feliciano Lopez which takes place on Monday night.