Andy Murray beaten in Cincinnati opener by Lucas Pouille

Andy Murray looking pensive

Andy Murray’s Cincinnati Masters return was short-lived as he was beaten in three sets by Lucas Pouille in the first round.

Having missed the 2017 event due to a long-standing hip injury, Murray was playing in the Western & Southern Open for the first time since finishing runner-up to Marin Cilic in 2016.

After a nightmare first set, he made an excellent comeback in the second to take it to a decider, but the 16th seeded Pouille edged it 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

The Frenchman broke twice to storm into a 4-0 lead before Murray eventually managed to hold onto his serve, but Pouille wrapped up the first set with a third break.

The roles were reversed in the second set as the Scot claimed three breaks of serve to force a third set.

Pouille, though, had the upper hand in the decider from the word go as he broke in the opening game and then eased home as he secured his first win over Murray at the fifth time of asking.

Kei Nishikori was another early winner on Monday as the former US Open finalist beat Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-3 to set up a clash against either Stan Wawrinka or Diego Schwartzman.

The 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta beat Richard Gasquet 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 while Kyle Edmund advanced on Sunday evening with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Mackenzie McDonald.