Andy Murray was scheduled to play Nick Kyrgios at the Winston-Salem Open, an ATP 250 level event, when Kyrgios announced a last-minute cancelation. Denying spectators a matchup between fan-favourites.

The Australian has been struggling with knee pain since the start of the Canadian open, and cited a need to “keep rehabbing.

“I just need a bit more time. As a professional athlete playing on Tour for this long I want to look after my body, I want to do it right.”

Noah Rubin was called up as a lucky loser to take Kyrgios’ place.

Murray spoke of the confusion in his post-match interview. “Originally I was playing Nick and he had an injury to his knee so wasn’t going to play. I didn’t know if I was going to play tonight, they said if I was playing against a qualifier then I wouldn’t play and then I drew a lucky loser… so then I was playing Noah… It was tricky.

“It was obviously difficult for 45 minutes and then the first couple of games because you’ve gone over a strategy with your coach about the match you’re going to play and then obviously that changes.

“… Twenty minutes before you go on court you’re playing someone you haven’t played against.”

Murray was able to swiftly defeat him 6-2, 6-0. Granting a valuable 58 minutes of court time in the lead up to the US open, where former-champion Murray has secured a wildcard.

“It’s a bit tricky but obviously after the first few games I started to get a bit more comfortable and then towards the end he was struggling a bit, unfortunately I know he’s from here and that’s great. It was a nice atmosphere to play in and everything, but my job is to try to win the match.”

In the next round Murray plays Frances Tiafoe.

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