It was the first time in three years that the 34-year-old had been able to play a grass singles match in front of a local crowd – and the first time he had competed since March with a groin injury.
Murray underwent hip resurfacing in 2019 – his second hip operation in just over a year – in a bid to save his career, but insignificant injuries continued to hamper his return.
The Scotsman then tested positive for Covid-19 in January, forcing him to miss the Australian Open in February.
“Look, I love this. I love to play tennis,” said Murray, his voice starting to break as the crowd offered their support. “Sorry,” he added, wiping the tears from his eyes.
“Obviously the competition is the reason you put in all the hard work, and over the past few years I haven’t had to do it as much as I would have liked, so [it’s] great that I’m here and able to compete again. “
Murray has enjoyed considerable success at Queen’s over the years, winning the Wimbledon warm-up five times in his career.
Tuesday’s victory was only Murray’s second on the ATP Tour since August and the three-time Grand Slam winner will be hoping to regain form before his home slam begins on June 28.