Tennis: Murray accepts Montpellier wildcard as he steps up return

FILE PHOTO: French Open
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - September 27, 2020. Britain's Andy Murray during his first round match against Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

February 15, 2021

(Reuters) – Former world number one Andy Murray will make his return to the ATP Tour at this month’s Open Sud de France in Montpellier after receiving a wildcard, organisers said on Monday.

The three-time Grand Slam winner was forced to pull out of this year’s Australian Open after he was unable to find what he called a “workable quarantine” following a positive COVID-19 test on Jan. 14.

Murray instead headed to Biella to compete in a challenger tournament in a bid to improve his match sharpness ahead of his return to the main ATP Tour.

The 33-year-old Briton, currently ranked 125 in the world, lost to Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko in the final.

“Andy Murray… will play in Open Sud de France 2021,” organisers said on Twitter.

“With 46 ATP titles he is one of the best players of the past decade. After injury problems over the last few years, he has been working hard in the off season and looking forward to competing once again in 2021.”

Murray played only seven Tour-level matches last year because of injuries and the disruption caused by the pandemic — ending his season in October after a pelvic problem. He last won a title in Antwerp in 2019.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)