Britain's Andy Murray reacts during a ATP 250 Geneva Open...

Britain's Andy Murray reacts during a ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament match against Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 20, 2024. Credit: AP/Salvatore Di Nolfi

GENEVA — Needing a win to face Novak Djokovic next at the Geneva Open, Andy Murray was saved by a heavy rainstorm when he trailed unseeded Yannick Hanfmann 7-5, 4-1 in a first-round match on Monday.

Murray and top-ranked Djokovic both got wild cards to enter the last clay-court event to prepare for the French Open, and were drawn to meet in the second round. They have not faced each other on tour since February 2017.

Ranked No. 75, Murray began to struggle in his first tour match in two months when heavy rain and strong winds swept across the stadium court in a lakeside park.

The 85th-ranked Hanfmann broke Murray’s service twice in a row to lead 4-1 with his service game to come when play was suspended.

In the opening set, Murray found some big serves to get out of trouble in the ninth game when he saved two break points.

It was just a respite, as Murray was broken to love in his next service game, sealed by a Hanfmann forehand service return winner.

The German served out the set taking his first chance at 40-0. The serve pushed Murray wide to his backhand and he netted the return.

Britain's Andy Murray waves towards spectators prior to a ATP...

Britain's Andy Murray waves towards spectators prior to a ATP 250 Geneva Open tennis tournament match against Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, May 20, 2024. Credit: AP/Salvatore Di Nolfi

The winner is expected to play Djokovic on Wednesday, the 37th birthday for the record 24-time Grand Slam singles champion. Murray, who has a 2-5 career record against Djokovic in Grand Slam finals, turned 37 last Wednesday.

The Geneva Open final is scheduled for Saturday, one day before main draw play starts at Roland Garros where Djokovic is the defending champion.

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