Andy Murray will compete at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after receiving a wild card for the tournament. The ATP 500 event begins on February 19 and will see the former world no.1 bidding for the title he previously won in 2017, beating Fernando Verdasco in the final. This year’s Dubai tournament will be a star-studded one and Murray will join the likes of Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and 2022 champion Andrey Rublev.
Rafael Nadal has also signed up for the ATP 500 event, but he is unlikely to take part as he is still recovering from his injury. Murray looks to add a few more wins under his belt in order to move up the rankings.
The Olympic gold medalist has not played since his Australian Open exertions where he spent more than 14 hours on the court during his run to the third round. Murray defeated 13th seed Matteo Berrettini and home favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis in five sets in his opening two matches. But eventually lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in a four-set game. Murray was due to return to action at next week’s Rotterdam Open, but he pulled out of the ATP 500 event in order to recover following his marathon encounters at Melbourne Park.
The two-time Wimbledon champion will now make his singles comeback in Dubai. The 35-year-old British player also played in the Middle East event last year and lost in the second round against Jannik Sinner. Murray admitted that coming back to Dubai brings with it a lot of good memories, not least 2017, and the final with Fernando.
The three-time Grand Slam winner said that his form is improving and his game is getting better and better, so the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships provides another great opportunity for him to continue to climb back up the rankings. Murray has slipped to no.61 spot in the rankings, but a few good wins could see him rise up the rankings again, which would be enough to be seeded for the Grand Slams.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is also the final event, along with the Mexican Open and Chile Open, ahead of the Sunshine Double in the United States. The ATP Tour then moves to Europe for the clay-court season and Murray is yet to indicate if he will compete on the red dirt this year.