Andy Murray endures Round 1 exit at Cologne indoor event

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray suffered a first-round exit at the indoor ATP tournament in Cologne as he lost in straight sets to Spain's Fernando Verdasco. In the last game of the day, Verdasco converted his fourth match point just after midnight early on Wednesday morning to seal a 6-4, 6-4 win over Britain's Murray.

Poor service

"It was tough, I had a few chances, but I didn't serve that well and these courts are quite slow, so it's important to get break points which I didn't get," Murray said. "He played better than me." Murray hopes to use the back-to-back tournaments in Cologne to relaunch his season after a loop-sided first-round exit to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open last month and will stay on for next week's indoor event. "I plan to stay and play next week, get some practise in the next few days," he said.

This was Murray's third straight defeat to Verdasco, ranked 62nd, who last beat the Scotsman twice in 2018.

Top seed Fognini pulls out

Meanwhile, top-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini was forced to pull out of the ATP Sardegna Open on Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19. "Guys, I have to tell you that this morning I tested positive for COVID-19. The symptoms are very mild, a little cough and fever, headache...but unfortunately this bad news has arrived. I'm already in isolation and I'm convinced that I will recover very soon. I hug you all," he Instagrammed.

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