Andy Murray earned his first singles victory at Tour level since January with a three-set win over Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Zhuhai Championships in China.

Murray continued his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery by winning 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

Defeating the world number 69 showed progress from Murray having lost to the same man in North Carolina in August.

He will play Australian world number 31 Alex de Minaur in the second round.

Murray, 32, said at the Australian Open that the ongoing problem with his hip could have forced him into retirement.

He instead underwent the resurfacing operation, from which no player has ever returned to play top-level singles tennis.

The former world number one’s comeback initially was in doubles tournaments, including both men’s and mixed at Wimbledon, and he began playing singles competitions at the beginning of August.

The Scot, now ranked 413, won two matches on the lower-level Challenger Tour at the Rafa Nadal Open at the end of last month.

This win over American Sandgren is his first on the ATP Tour since beating James Duckworth at the Brisbane International on 1 January.

He missed the opportunity of a match point in the second-set tie-break, only to race through the decider and complete victory in two hours and 41 minutes.