Former British World Number 1, Andy Murray, will begin his 2021 season at the Delray Beach Open next month after accepting a wildcard for the ATP 250 tournament.
The knighted Brit, who has slipped to 122nd in the rankings, will join defending champion and ATP’s tallest ever ranked player Reilly Opelka, top-ranked American John Isner and Canada’s Milos Raonic in the Florida field for the competition.
The tournament was moved from its traditional February slot and will now take place from January 7-13. In that scheme of things, it will serve as part of the preparations for the Australian Open Grand Slam, which itself was pushed back by three weeks to Friday, February 8, due to COVID-19 health and safety measures.
Having undergone hip resurfacing surgery in January last year, the three-times Grand Slam champion returned to win the Antwerp when he defeated fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the Antwerp final seven months later, which was his first title since the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title in 2017.
However, complications with his hip caused the 33-year-old to miss most of the 2020 season. He also struggled for form on his return after the COVID-19 enforced break, capitulating to a second-round defeat in the US Open and then falling in the opening round at Roland Garros by none other than Wawrinka.
His competitive play of 2020 ended with a 6-4, 6-4 loss in the first round of the bett1HULKS Indoors to Fernando Verdasco in Cologne. But, since then the knighted player has been gearing up for the new season by taking part in the LTA’s Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament.