Andy Murray's sad US Open announcement after return to singles

Andy Murray’s hopes of playing singles at the US Open are over after his first round defeat at the Cincinnati Masters to Richard Gasquet.

In his first singles match since the Australian Open in January, Murray was defeated 6-4, 6-4 before announcing he would not accept a wildcard for the Flushing Meadows major.

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The 32-year-old Briton, who is working his way back from hip surgery, had been asked to make a decision on accepting a wildcard for the final grand slam of the year prior to facing Gasquet, but held back his decision until after Monday's match.

"We were hoping to hold a wildcard until nearer the time and see how it feels," Murray said.

Andy Murray couldn't get past Richard Gasquet. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

"But the US Open were announcing their wildcards today and I didn't feel I was able to make that decision before today's match.

"I didn't want to take the wildcard today because didn't know how I would feel after the match.

"I also wanted to maybe wait and see how I felt after maybe playing a couple of matches and how I recover the next day."

Murray will play US Open doubles

The Briton says he intends to play doubles and mixed doubles at the Grand Slam in New York, which starts on 26 August, and could play singles again next week at the Winston-Salem Open.

Former world No.1 Murray was broken in the opening game of the match and found himself within a point of a 3-0 deficit.

However, warming to his task, he fought back to lead 3-2 before Gasquet, employing a series of drop shots as he moved Murray around the court, turned the screws to take the first set.

Andy Murray leaves the court after losing to Richard Gasquet. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The second set started in much the same way, as Gasquet, who missed the first four months of the season with a groin injury, broke in the opening game and then backed it up to lead 2-0.

But Murray showed a deft touch to hold serve with a half-volleyed lob and then produced a string of winners to push his opponent hard before he made it 3-1 with an ace.

The 2012 US Open winner once again showed his mettle, putting pressure on Gasquet's serve and holding his next two to make it 4-3 with his game improving all the time.

Both men held to allow the Frenchman to serve for the match at 5-4, and he needed no second invitation.