PARIS: Former world No. 1 Andy Murray has been handed a wild card for February’s delayed Australian Open (AO), pushed back three weeks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Murray20130402 - Andy gets Australian Open wild card
Andy Murray of Great Britain sits on the court after winning against David Ferrer of Spain during their final match at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. AFP PHOTO

Murray, 33, is a five-time runner-up in Melbourne but feared his last match at the tournament in 2019 would mark the end of his career due to chronic hip pain.

The injury pushed him to the brink of retirement, but the three-time Grand Slam champion is battling to extend his career, having undergone two hip surgeries.

The Scot’s ranking of 122 is too low to qualify directly for the Australian Open main draw, which starts on February 8, and he has also accepted a wild card to the Delray Beach event early next month.

Murray played just seven tour-level matches this year as he returned to action in August, following a lingering pelvic injury and the suspension of the tennis season.

“We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms,” said Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley. “His retirement was an emotional moment, and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and build himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021.”

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