Andy Murray is set to return to action at the Australian Open two years after it appeared he was about to retire from tennis altogether after the Melbourne tournament. Murray has been handed a wildcard entry into February’s tournament and therefore won’t have to participate in the qualifying event in Doha next month.
In January 2019, Murray hinted in an emotional press conference that he was about to hang up his racket due to a hip problem.
People were so convinced Murray was going to retire after the tournament that the organisers put together a video of players sending their best wishes to the former World No 1.
Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were among the players who participated in the video.
Federer described himself as Murray’s biggest fan, saying: “Amazing career, congratulations buddy.
“You’ve done Scotland proud, Britain proud, you’re a Sir – who can say that? Hardly anybody, but you did it as a tennis player.
“You only have friends in the locker room and you should be very proud of that fact as well.
“But, just know, I’m your biggest fan. Take care, buddy.”
But three-time Grand Slam champion Murray was handed a lifeline by receiving a resurfacing operation to enable him to continue as a professional.
He won his first tournament since the operation in October 2019, beating Kimmer Coopejans in the European Open final.
“As a five-time finalist he has been an integral part of so many amazing matches and storylines in the recent history of the Australian Open.
“His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and built himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of the 2021 Australian Open.
“We wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him.”