Sunday, November 28News That Matters

Andy Murray withdraws from Challenger Tour event after being handed wild card for Open Sud de France

Andy Murray has pulled out of this week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy.

The former world No 1, who had to miss the Australian Open due to testing positive for coronavirus last month, was runner-up to Illya Marchenko at last week’s second-tier event in northern Italy.

But rather than stay on in Biella to continue his comeback in the second tournament to be held there, Murray has opted to travel to Montpellier and prepare for the Open Sud de France.

Andy Murray has withdrawn from this week's ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy

Andy Murray has withdrawn from this week's ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy

Andy Murray has withdrawn from this week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Italy 

The former world No 1 has been handed a wild card in the Open Sud de France

The former world No 1 has been handed a wild card in the Open Sud de France

 The former world No 1 has been handed a wild card in the Open Sud de France

It is understood Murray is happy with the number of matches he got under his belt – five in six days – in his run to the final at the initial event and plans to leave for France on Thursday.

The 33-year-old, who had not played a competitive match since October until he arrived in Italy last week, has been handed a wild card for the ATP 250 event, which starts next Monday.

Murray is currently ranked 125th in the world as he continues his comeback from the hip surgery which saved his career.

Murray was beaten in straight sets by Illya Marchenko in the final of last week's event

Murray was beaten in straight sets by Illya Marchenko in the final of last week's event

Murray was beaten in straight sets by Illya Marchenko in the final of last week’s event

The double Wimbledon champion was beaten 6-2 6-4 by Ukraine‘s Marchenko in the final of the Challenger event last week.

The defeat was a sobering reminder of the ground Murray still needs to make up after his long break from the tour.