Andy Murray on brink of defeat when storm stops play in Geneva Open

Andy Murray on brink of defeat when storm stops play in Geneva Open

Andy Murray was distracted by bizarre weather conditions as he stood on the brink of defeat in the first round of the Geneva Open.

Murray trailed Yannick Hanfmann, the world No 85, by a set and a double break when the umpire, Greg ­Allensworth, sent them back to the dressing rooms because of an impending storm, which led to play being suspended for the day.

Gusts of wind had been ­sending showers of white pollen on to the court from the nearby Parc des Eaux‑Vives, prompting Murray to complain to Allensworth: “It’s like it’s snowing out here.”

Amid the unlikely conditions, ­Murray summoned two double faults in succession to pave the way for Hanfmann to move 4-1 up in the ­second set having grabbed the ­decisive break in the first, reeling off 12 points in succession to win it 7-5.

It was a disappointing return to the ATP Tour for Murray, who hoped to use Geneva to limber up for his first French Open appearance since 2020 after producing a ­disappointing performance at a ­Challenger event in Bordeaux last week on his comeback from injury.

He looked painfully out of sorts, struggling on service return and increasingly handing the initiative to his opponent, who was less inclined to accept the need for a weather interruption.

Barring a spectacular revival when the match resumes on Tuesday, it means Murray will miss the chance of ­booking a second-round clash with the world No 1 Novak Djokovic, in what would have been their first meeting since the 2017 Doha final.

The British No 3 Dan Evans missed a match‑point opportunity as he fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) against Arthur Rinderknech in the first round of the Lyon Open. In a ­thrilling final set, Evans hit back from 5-2 behind to hold match point at 6-5 in the tie‑break before his French opponent rallied to reach round two.