Murray awarded main-draw wildcard at Australian Open

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  • Andy Murray
    Andy Murray
    British professional tennis player from Scotland

Andy Murray will compete at the Australian Open for the first time in three years after being awarded a main-draw wildcard.

Murray has finished as a runner-up five times at Melbourne Park – most recently in 2016 when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic 6-1 7-5 7-6 (7-3).

The Scot has since struggled with a hip injury that had him on the verge of retirement, while he dropped to 134th in the world rankings.

However, the former world number one was in action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, where he defeated Rafael Nadal before eventually falling to Andrey Rublev in the final of the exhibition event.

Murray was due to feature at the Australian Open in 2020 before a positive coronavirus test stopped him from playing, but the 34-year-old is thankful for the chance to compete in Melbourne again.

"I'm really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig [Tiley] and the team for the opportunity," Murray said on his wildcard, as quoted by the tournament's website.

"I've had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can't wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park."

Tournament director and Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley added: "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."

American Stefan Kozlov and Frenchman Lucas Pouille join Murray as the men's singles wildcards so far, with the other four spots likely to go to Australians and another to an Asia-Pacific player.

The Australian Open gets underway on January 17 with the final set to take place 13 days later.

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