MIAMI: Three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Andy Murray is among five players handed a wildcard into the main draw of next week’s Miami Open, tournament officials said on Monday.
Murray, who skipped this week’s Dubai Tennis Championships after becoming a father for the fourth time with wife Kim Sears, returns to the Miami Open field for the first time since 2016.
The two-time Wimbledon and Olympic champion, who is on the comeback trail after hip surgery two years ago, won the Miami Open in 2009 and 2013 and reached the final of the event in 2012 and 2015.
“It is exciting to see Andy back in Miami,” said Miami Open tournament director James Blake. “As someone who has had to battle back from injury during his career, I understand and respect all the hard work Andy has put in to get back on tour.”
Murray has had a stop-start year after he was unable to fly to the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
The 33-year-old Briton’s last tournament was the Rotterdam Open where he was beaten by Russian Andrey Rublev two weeks ago.
Murray is joined in the main draw by Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, Michael Mmoh of the United States, Hugo Gaston of France and Britain’s Jack Draper.
Anna Kalinskaya, Ana Konjuh, Storm Sanders, Katrina Scott, Mayar Sherif, Wang Xiyu and Wang Xinyu were granted main draw wildcards in the women’s tournament.
On Sunday, two-time Miami Open champion Kim Clijsters withdrew from the tournament.
Clijsters, who underwent a knee operation in October and then contracted Covid-19 in January, said she withdrew because of concerns over fitness.
“Unfortunately, I am not where I need to be especially if I want to compete with the best,” she said. “It’s disappointing and frustrating.”
The Miami Open, which will feature 74 of the top 77 ranked men, is scheduled to run from March 22-April 4.