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Andy Murray reverses no-clay decision with wildcard for Madrid Masters

The former world No 1 may also play the Rome Masters but is not expected to play the French Open

Andy Murray at the Madrid Open in 2017 Andy Murray at the Madrid Open in 2017 Image Credit: SFP / Panoramic

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has decided to take a wildcard into next month’s Madrid Masters after earlier announcing that he would skip the entire clay court season.

The 34-year-old was one of the surprise wildcard announcements by tournament organisers on Wednesday for the clay court Masters Series event, the men’s event main draw of which begins on May 1.

Murray is a two-time champion in Madrid, which includes a win over Rafael Nadal, here in 2015.

Ranked 83rd in the world, the Scot has also kept open the possibility of playing the Rome Masters, which is the week after Madrid, but is not planning to play the French Open in late May, at this stage.

Murray had earlier decided that he would skip the clay-court season in order to give himself the best chance of a good run during the grass court swing. But the desire to get some competitive matches was the reason for his change of mind.

Murray has been practising on clay in Florida with coach Ivan Lendl. The Scot was one of four men awarded wildcards into the main draw, the others being Spain’s Carlos Gimeno, France’s Lucas Pouille and Great Britain’s Jack Draper.

Naomi Osaka and Linda Fruhvirtova join Andy Murray as wild cards for Madrid Masters

Naomi Osaka, Madrid, 2021
© Panoramic

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka leads the Madrid Open wildcard entrants on the women’s side. Osaka was outside the cut-off for the main draw when the entries for the event closed (usually six weeks before the tournament start date) but has since returned to the top 40 following her runner-up finish in Miami.

She is joined by 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, China’s Qinwin Zheng and 2016 Rio Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig. Puig, a former top 30 player but currently unranked, will be playing her first event since the 2020 French Open due to injuries.

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