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 No 1, who 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 tp 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-time 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.
Heather Watson and teenager Anton Matusevich claimed the women’s and men’s titles at the Battle of the Brits Premier League of Tennis event in Roehampton.
Watson, 28, secured top spot by maintaining her 100 per cent record at the four-day competition with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Fran Jones.
Matusevich, 19, won his decisive final match against Jack Draper 6-3 2-6 10-8.
The result meant the pair finished level on seven points in the standings with Matusevich taking the title on the head-to-head record.
Murray finished third in the men’s event and British No 1 Dan Evans ended fourth after losing his final match 6-3 6-2 to Cam Norrie.