US Open: Andy Murray gets direct entry into 2021 event after Stan Wawrinka withdrawal
Andy Murray will not require a wildcard to compete at this year’s US Open after he benefitted from the withdrawal of Stan Wawrinka.
Murray, who is currently ranked 105, was set to miss out on direct entry to the tournament due to his current position, but his place in the main draw is guaranteed after Wawrinka failed to recover from foot surgery in time.
There was a strong chance of Murray, the 2012 champion at Flushing Meadows, being given a wildcard by the USTA if he did not make the cut. However, the Scot can now rest assured that he will be able to compete as he fine-tunes his schedule for the American hard-court swing.
Murray is due to play at next week’s Western and Southern Open in the US city of Cincinnati after accepting a wildcard for that event, which will be his first singles match since Wimbledon. Murray made the third round at this year’s Championships, overcoming Nikoloz Basilashvili and Oscar Otte before losing out to eventual semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov. He had been due to represent Team GB at the Olympics in the singles, but pulled out ahead of his match with Felix Auger-Aliassime to concentrate on the doubles. He and his partner Joe Salisbury made the quarter-finals in Tokyo.
Murray won the first of his three slams in New York nine years ago when he defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets, and was runner-up to Roger Federer in 2008. He made the second round of last year’s renewal, losing to Auger-Aliassime, but did record a thrilling five-set win over Yoshihito Nishioka in his opening match behind closed doors.
Fans are expected to attend this time around, with the tournament running from August 30 to September 12. Murray will be one of three guaranteed male Brits in the draw, joining Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans. Liam Broady, who has been in good form recently, will look to qualify the week before.
The US hard court season is in full swing, with rising Italian star Jannik Sinner winning the Citi Open in Washington after a thrilling final against Mackenzie McDonald. The 19-year-old prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 against the unseeded American and becomes the youngest ATP 500 champion since the category was created in 2009.
“I think there is still much work to do, to be honest,” Sinner reflected after the match. “A lot of experience to put in, working hard as we are doing now, and trying to play important matches and important moments of a match/ Here I think I had a lot of them. I can learn many things.”
Sinner will be one of contenders for this week’s Masters 1000 series event in Toronto as the tour moves north to Canada. Russia’s Daniil Medvedev is the top seed, with Rafael Nadal second. Britain’s Evans was due to play his round-one match against Alexander Bublik on Monday night, while Norrie begins his quest for the Rogers Cup against Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who recently won the silver medal at the Olympics, on Tuesday.
In the doubles in Toronto, Scotland’s Jamie Murray and his Australian partner Max Purcell suffered a tough loss in the first round on Monday evening, losing to Matwe Middelkoop and Luke Saville 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 13-11. Norrie and his partner Alex de Minaur, also from Australia, did not fare any better, going down 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 10-8 to Aslan Karatsev and Dusan Lajovic.