Andy Murray reached the Roland Garros final in 2016 but is now ranked at 110.© AFP
Former world number one Andy Murray, who has been battling back to fitness following radical hip surgery, was handed a wild card Monday for the French Open which begins on September 27. The 33-year-old Scotsman reached the Roland Garros final in 2016 but is now ranked at 110 in the world as he attempts to rebuild his career. Murray lost to the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round of the recent US Open where he was also handed a wild card. Following his defeat he said he was pleased with how his metal hip coped in his first Grand Slam outing since the 2019 Australian Open, when there was talk of him retiring.
Former world number five Eugenie Bouchard, a semi-finalist in Paris six years ago and former Wimbledon runner-up, was also given an invitation after reaching the final of the WTA event in Istanbul at the weekend, her first final for four years.
Meanwhile, Spain’s clay-court king Rafael Nadal called for caution on Monday with the French Open set to be played in front of spectators later this month despite coronavirus concerns.
Nadal, who will bid for a 13th French Open title in Paris, returns to competition this week on clay in Rome for the first time in six months due to the pandemic.
“I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s the situation’s going to look like in Roland Garros,” the 34-year-old told journalists when questioned about the French Open.
“Let’s see how the virus evolves the next couple of weeks. Hopefully in a good way. Doesn’t look like that, no? Let’s see.”
“We need to be patient and we need to wait to see how the situation improves.”
The world number two could match Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles if he wins in Paris.
The French Open which has been pushed back from May to a September 27 start, could host up to 11,500 spectators per day.
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