Andy Murray uses protected ranking to gain entry to Australian Open

Andy Murray is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open. Picture: Elsa/Getty Images
Andy Murray is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open. Picture: Elsa/Getty Images
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Andy Murray has used his protected world ranking to gain entry to the Australian Open, tournament officials have confirmed.

The Scot, a five-time finalist at the Melbourne major, is now ranked 259th in the world after missing almost a year through injury.

His protected ranking affords him direct entry in up to nine tournaments from the point he returned from 11 months out in June. Murray will not be seeded at the Australian Open.

World No 1 Simona Halep heads up the women’s field and Novak Djokovic, seeking his record seventh Australian Open title, is the 
No 1-ranked male player.

The tournament begins on 14 January with Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki as singles defending champions.

Serena Williams, ranked No 16, plans to make her return to Melbourne Park for the first time since winning in 2017 while eight weeks’ pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia.

Britain’s Katie Boulter, who reached the second round at Wimbledon, will make her Australian Open debut, while Johanna Konta and Heather Watson are the other British players in the main women’s draw.

Kyle Edmund, a semi-finalist in Australia this year, and Cameron Norrie are the other Britons in the men’s singles.