Andy Murray accepts Delray Beach Open wildcard to begin 2021 season ahead of Australian Open
Former world number one Andy Murray will begin his 2021 season at the ATP's Delray Beach tournament in Florida in January ahead of the Australian Open in February. The Scotsman has not played a tour-level match since losing to Fernando Verdasco in October in Cologne but has featured at the LTA's Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament.
Andy Murray plays a backhand shot during their round robin match against Cameron Norrie during Day Three of the Battle of the Brits Premier League of Tennis at the National Tennis Centre on December 22, 2020 in London, England
Published 26/12/2020 at 11:46 GMT | Updated 26/12/2020 at 11:46 GMT
Andy Murray will begin his 2021 season at the Delray Beach Open next month after accepting a wildcard for the ATP 250 tournament, the men's tour said on Saturday.
The former world number one, whose has slipped to 122nd in the rankings, will join defending champion Reilly Opelka, top-ranked American John Isner and Canada's Milos Raonic in the Florida field.
The tournament takes place from January 7-13, after being moved from its traditional February slot, and will serve as part of the preparations for the Australian Open Grand Slam, which will begin three weeks later than scheduled on February 8 due to Covid-19 health and safety measures.
Murray, a three-times Grand Slam champion, underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January last year but returned to win the Antwerp title seven months later -- his first since 2017.
The 33-year-old Briton missed most of the 2020 season due to complications with his hip and struggled for form on his return after the Covid-19 hiatus, suffering a second-round defeat in the US Open before falling in the opening round at Roland Garros.
Tennis in 2020: Naomi Osaka, Iga Swiatek lead the way in unique season
He ended 2020 with a loss to Fernando Verdasco in Cologne and has been gearing up for the new season by taking part in the LTA's Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament.