Tennis: Andy Murray accepts wild-card entry to Australian Open

AP , Friday 24 Dec 2021

Five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray received a wild-card entry Thursday for the tournament's main draw.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray, of Britain, returns a shot to Carlos Alcaraz, of Spain, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Oct. 10, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif (AP)

Murray last played at Melbourne Park in 2019, when he made a teary retirement announcement before undergoing a second hip surgery to extend his career.

The former top-ranked Murray had also accepted a wild-card entry last year but didn't go after testing positive for COVID-19 shortly before he was due to board a charter flight to Melbourne.

``Andy is renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game and I'm delighted to welcome him back to Melbourne in January,'' Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.

The Australian Open begins Jan. 17.

Murray, No. 134 in the ATP rankings, spoke optimistically about going deep in tournaments again after beating Jannik Sinner to reach the quarterfinals of the Stockholm Open in November. He had also pushed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in a first-round loss at the U.S. Open in August.

The three-time Grand Slam champion said he's ``really excited'' to return to the Australian Open.

``I've had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds,`` the 34-year-old Murray said, ``and I can't wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park.''

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