Andy Murray picked up his first singles victory at ATP Tour level earlier today by beating Tennys Sandgren but admitted it was not an easy task.
Murray's only previous meeting with the world No 69 came earlier this year when he was beaten in straight sets on the hard courts of Winston-Salem.
The Brit has made significant progress in his comeback from two hip surgeries since then but still needed three sets to take a 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 win at the Zhuhai Championships.
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“It was a tough, tough match with some very hard games in the first set," Murray said afterwards.
"I had a match point in the second and I think I did well to come back in the third because it was very humid.
"In some ways it was one of the toughest wins that I've had.
"It's good to see I'm still progressing and making improvements.
"Tonight was a really good match to get through but I'll see how I feel tomorrow.
"It was important for me to get my first win on Tour since the operation.
"Now it's pretty cool to play and not have pain there."
Murray, 32, is planning an extended run in China as he attempts to return to top-level singles competition: he has won just one Grand Slam match since limping out of Wimbledon two years ago.
He had surgery in Australia at the beginning of 2018 to repair a chronic hip problem but was forced to go under the knife once again earlier this year to have the joint 'resurfaced'.
The second procedure is rarely once from which sportsman regain their full fitness and Murray admitted earlier this month that he could not even dream of being the player he once was.
"I'm not expecting to get back to my very best," Murray said.
"I think it would be probably a bit naive and silly to think that would be the case.
"I do feel like tennis-wise I can still compete at the highest level in terms of my skill, it's just whether physically I can get to a high enough level to be competitive right at the top."
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