It could have gone either way. Edmund got the win in their last meeting in Eastbourne, where the new British No.1 Edmund won with the loss of just eight games in that second round clash. "It takes time after you've been out for a long period to get the match sharpness back".
"At the time I didn't feel like I was quite ready to play five-set matches", the Scot said. "If I stay fit and healthy, I'm not anxious so much about ranking. I cut the unforced errors a little bit in the second set and started serving better".
"It's not where I want to be ranking wise but the good thing is that when you are right up at the top of the game, it's not easy just to move up one spot", Murray said.
"It will help having one more match under my belt". The Citi Open is just his third tournament of the year.
Murray said he wanted to enjoy being back on the tour, but the serious part - winning matches - was still extremely important to him.
"It's a positive change for tennis".
Murray underwent hip surgery in January after the hip ailment slowed him in 2017.
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McDonald, 23, broke two of Murray's opening three service games and wrapped up the first set 6-3 inside 40 minutes.
But Murray immediately broke back - in a game that included a controversial call when McDonald's racket was adjudged to have crossed the plane of the net with the score 30-30 - before serving out to reach the second round. "If I only play one or two tournaments and then take a break for a month, it's just hard to get into that routine", Murray said.
Murray earned five match points but he was unable to put away McDonald, who used his second break point to stay alive on centre court.
In addition to Murray, notable men's field entrants so far include 17-time Grand Slam victor and defending China Open champion Rafael Nadal, 2009 US Open victor Juan Martin del Potro and world number three, rising star Alexander Zverev.
Elsewhere American Tim Smyczek won his rain-interrupted match against Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (4) 6-2 and will next face Mischa Zverev, who defeated Smyczek in three sets at the Atlanta Open last week.