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Murray to begin tennis season in Florida

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 7-13, after being moved from its traditional February slot, and will serve as part of the preparations for the Australian Open, 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.

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