Andy Murray US Open 2021

‘I can beat the top players!’ – Andy Murray sets up meeting with Casper Ruud in San Diego

British star Andy Murray made a winning start at the San Diego Open with a comfortable victory against lucky loser Denis Kudla.

The former world number one, who showed promising signs with a quarter-final run in Metz last week, continued his form with a 6-3 6-2 victory over the American, who replaced Kei Nishikori.

The Brit was hugely impressive on serve, winning 90% of his first serves and refusing to give Kudla a single break point opportunity in the contest.

The three-time Grand Slam champion admits he has seen improvements in his game as he looks to enter the top 100 for the first time since May 2018 after a torrid time with injuries.

“It’s been better,” Murray said. “The US Open was sort of the start of where I played a bit better and I just need to start beating some higher-ranked players.

“I´ve had opportunities in those matches against the top players I´ve played. I think I can beat them. I just need to start converting some of my opportunities against them.”

Murray will have the opportunity to beat a higher-ranked opponent in the second round as he faces the in-form Casper Ruud, who has won several clay tournaments this year and proved his worth on the hard-courts at the Laver Cup.