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Andy Murray will return to the Australian Open next month, three years after playing what he feared would be the final match of his career.
The 34-year-old has accepted a wild card for the tournament as he looks to extend a record which has seen him finish runner-up in Melbourne five times.
Murray lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round in 2019, shortly after revealing he was set to undergo hip surgery.
The former Wimbledon and US Open champion is now ranked a lowly 134 as he battles to recover consistently good form after persistent injury problems.
However, towards the end of last season Murray recorded two top-10 triumphs over Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz and Italy’s Jannik Sinner.
He showed some form too in beating compatriot Dan Evans and another former world number one Rafael Nadal in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi last week.
After the match Murray said: “It’s an amazing place to play tennis. If it was my last match, it was an amazing way to end.”
Murray withdrew from the tournament in 2020 and earlier this year he also had to pull out at the last minute after testing positive for coronavirus.
However Murray has continued to battle back towards the top 100, most notably in pushing Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in a US Open first-round defeat in September.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “As a five-time finalist, Andy Murray has had so many memorable moments at the Australian Open
“He’s renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game and I’m delighted to welcome him back in Melbourne in January.
“His heroic exploits have made him a firm fan favourite here at Melbourne Park.”
Murray has been runner-up in Melbourne five times but has so far been unable to lift the Australian Open trophy.
The article Andy Murray set to return to the Australian Open thanks to wildcard appeared first on Tennis365.com.