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Home Football Murray loses Battle of the Brits opener

Murray loses Battle of the Brits opener

Neal Skupski, Jamie Murray, Liam Broady and Cam Norrie tap racquets after their Battle of the Brits match
The players followed social distancing measures throughout the match, including replacing the traditional post-match handshakes with racquet taps
Venue: National Tennis Centre, Roehampton Dates: 23-28 June
Coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and follow live text commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website & app

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski suffered a shock defeat by Liam Broady and Cameron Norrie in the opening match of Murray’s Battle of the Brits.

Broady, 26, and Norrie, 24, won 3-6 7-5 11-9 as elite British men’s tennis returned behind closed doors.

The six-day charity event, organised by Murray, is being played at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

Later on Tuesday, Andy Murray will play his first match in seven months when he takes on Broady in the singles event.

Regular doubles pairing Jamie Murray and Skupski, US Open semi-finalists last year, took the first set with ease against the singles players but Broady and Norrie recovered to win the second set and held on in the tie-break.

There are no ball kids or line judges at the events to minimise numbers on court for social distancing purposes, and players had to retrieve their own balls and did not change ends.

Only the players, umpire James Keothavong, the coaches and camera operators were allowed on court
Only the players, umpire James Keothavong, the coaches and camera operators were allowed on court

“You’re a really good guy Andy – Sir Andy sorry,” joked Broady when asked if he had a message for Andy Murray after beating his brother Jamie.

“He’s a fantastic player, a fantastic champion. He’s moving really well at the moment, he’s telling people he’s not. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll save the trash talk for off camera.”

British number two Kyle Edmund made a winning start with a 6-1 6-4 victory over James Ward in his opening match of the round-robin tournament.

Teenager Jack Draper pulled out of the tournament with an abdominal injury.

The 18-year-old, who was the runner-up in the 2018 Wimbledon juniors, has been replaced by 24-year-old Ryan Peniston in the singles and by James Ward in the doubles.

The singles and doubles tournament gives top British men’s players competition practice before the planned restart of the professional tour in August and will raise money for NHS Charities Together.

In the doubles, two groups of three play each other in a round-robin and the top two from each group will advance to the semi-finals.

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